Alexander Dennis sells British electric buses to Berlin

Leading British bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis will build a new fleet of double deck buses for Berlin. Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) has awarded Alexander Dennis the contract to supply Enviro500 three-axle double deck buses.

The Enviro500 for Berlin will be 13.8 metres long with three doors, two staircases and 80 seats. They will be comprehensively tailored to the requirements of operation in Berlin, and will enhance passengers’ journey experience through new specification features. The first new buses are due to arrive in Berlin in 2020.

An initial delivery of two pre-series vehicles has been agreed. After successful tests and trial operation, the acceptance of a minimum of 70 vehicles is guaranteed. In a further step, BVG’s current plans envisage a fleet of 200 Enviro500 on the streets of Berlin in the near term. The present decision of BVG’s supervisory board allows the order of up to 430 buses from the framework contract. The maximum investment volume is €220 million (£195 million).

BVG operates around 1,500 buses which last year alone transported 441 million passengers. More than 400 double deckers are used on BVG services in Berlin. This is the largest fleet of its kind in continental Europe and one of the largest in the world.

Dr Sigrid Evelyn Nikutta, BVG Chairwoman of the Management Board and Operations, said: “Yellow double deckers are a well-known landmark of Berlin. This tradition will now continue with the buses built by Alexander Dennis. Thanks to the flexible contract we will be able to adjust our purchase volume depending on how the electric bus market develops. It is part of our plan to electrify our bus fleet by 2030.”

Colin Robertson, Chief Executive at Alexander Dennis said: “We are delighted that BVG, as a leading and innovative European transport operator, has chosen Alexander Dennis as the sole supplier of Berlin’s new double deck buses. Our state-of-the-art Enviro500 vehicles offer benefits for BVG, its drivers and its passengers, as Alexander Dennis has already demonstrated with over 17,000 Enviro family double deckers for customers around the world. This new partnership with BVG is a significant step forward in our European expansion strategy.”

Alexander Dennis says its Enviro500 vehicles are the world’s leading three-axle double deck buses, offering fuel efficiency thanks to a lightweight aluminium body structure. An Enviro500 double decker was trialled in service in Berlin in October 2015. Alexander Dennis subsequently participated in BVG’s multi-stage tender process, as a result of which the company has been chosen to supply the new double decker fleet for Berlin.

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