Bombardier PRIMOVE Equipped E-buses Start Passenger Service in Mannheim, Germany

  • Two e-buses with complete BOMBARDIER PRIMOVE portfolio to serve inner-city route
  • Demanding route proves the system’s suitability for almost every city

Rail technology leader Bombardier Transportation has announced that starting June 22, the city centre bus line 63 in Mannheim, Germany, will be served by two fully electric buses charged and powered by the unique PRIMOVE technology. Offering passengers a quiet and emission-free ride, the project proves PRIMOVE’s suitability for regular revenue service, even on demanding bus routes. 

Mannheim’s new e-bus line is the result of cooperation between regional transport operator Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr GmbH (rnv), Bombardier Transportation, the City of Mannheim, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, and Swiss bus manufacturer HESS AG. These project partners invited representatives from the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), federal, regional and local politicians as well as the media to attend the official start of passenger revenue services on Monday when the first of two e-buses commenced operations on a nine-kilometer route.

The e-buses mark a world premiere for PRIMOVE. The 12-meter vehicles are the first of their kind to be equipped with the complete PRIMOVE package, which includes wireless charging technology, long-life battery system and a fully integrated propulsion system.

Electrifying Mannheim’s bus line 63 presented a unique challenge. Not only does the line run through the heart of the city, but buses typically only rest at each stop for a very limited time. To meet this challenge, the PRIMOVE team installed a series of four fast, high-power charging stations at strategic locations along the line, plus one at each end stop, and one at the bus depot. 

With this arrangement, the innovative PRIMOVE system only needs to charge for about thirty seconds at each of the four charging stops and then for approximately five minutes at the end stops. This alone is enough to provide a single e-bus with sufficient energy to serve the entire route and eliminates the need for any additional charging or time consuming battery exchanges. With the Mannheim project, PRIMOVE makes sustainable mobility a reality and proves the systems’ capability – no matter how challenging the route may be. Furthermore, Mannheim’s two e-buses will save around 180 tons of CO2 per year, equal to the emissions of 74 personal cars.

Additionally, a fully electric PRIMOVE equipped van will also be used by Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr GmbH as a service and delivery vehicle. With a maximum range of 240 kilometers, it can easily complete its daily 80-kilometer service route after charging wirelessly at the depot for just 180 minutes on average.

The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.

About the PRIMOVE portfolio

With its flexible PRIMOVE portfolio, Bombardier offers the world’s only one-stop shop for true e-mobility: The fully integrated system for electric rail and road vehicles allows cities and the transport industry to easily incorporate electric mobility. The complete package includes the inductive PRIMOVE fast charging system, the lightweight, long-life PRIMOVE batteries and the efficient PRIMOVE propulsion.

Additional PRIMOVE projects

The first PRIMOVE 12 meter long e-bus has successfully served passengers in Braunschweig, Germany since March 2014. In December 2014, the world’s first 18 meter articulated e-buses complemented passenger operations in Braunschweig. Bombardier is currently also working on implementing its PRIMOVE system for electric buses in Berlin, Germany, and in Bruges, Belgium. For the booming Chinese city of Nanjing, trams have been equipped with lightweight and long-life PRIMOVE batteries. In addition, tests with a dynamically charged truck were successfully completed in Mannheim in January 2014.

About Bombardier Transportation

Bombardier Transportation, a global leader in rail technology, offers the broadest portfolio in the rail industry and delivers innovative products and services that set new standards in sustainable mobility. BOMBARDIER ECO4 technologies – built on the four cornerstones of energy, efficiency, economy, and ecology – conserve energy, protect the environment, and help to improve total train performance for operators and passengers. Bombardier Transportation is headquartered in Berlin, Germany, and has a very diverse customer base with products or services in more than 60 countries. It has an installed base of over 100,000 vehicles worldwide.

About Bombardier

Bombardier is the world’s leading manufacturer of both planes and trains. Looking far ahead while delivering today, Bombardier is evolving mobility worldwide by answering the call for more efficient, sustainable and enjoyable transportation everywhere. Our vehicles, services and, most of all, our employees are what make us a global leader in transportation.

Bombardier is headquartered in Montréal, Canada. Our shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD) and we are listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America Indices. In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014, we posted revenues of $20.1 billion. News and information are available at or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier.

Notes to Editors

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