Berlin’s electric buses fail to run in the cold
The extreme weather has led to disruptions all over Germany. Roads and parts of the autobahn have been forced to close, trains have been delayed and now, on top of all that, the freezing temperatures are causing problems for Berlin’s fleet of electric buses.
Cold is causing buses to fail
The Berliner Morgenpost has revealed that several electric buses operated by the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG), the main public transport operator in Berlin, are currently not running. The newspaper reported that up to 23 electric buses failed on Monday and were replaced by diesel vehicles.
The freezing cold temperatures cause problems for the electric buses’ batteries, as too much of the battery's capacity was being spent on heating. According to the newspaper, the buses that were charged overnight did not meet the required range and therefore weren’t allowed to operate. BVG spokesperson Petra Nelken confirmed to the Morgenpost that a specific type of bus, a twelve-metre-long model by Solaris, was being affected by the cold. “According to the contract and the specifications, they are supposed to be able to drive 130 kilometres even at minus 10 degrees, but not all of them made it.”
Nelken told reporters that BVG had already contacted Solaris about the issue. While Nelken didn’t confirm that 23 buses were out of action, she did say that “a good dozen” had been affected. The BVG’s fleet currently includes 123 electric buses from the same manufacturer.
Nelken also emphasised that the buses had not failed completely but simply had to return to the depot and be charged earlier than usual. The BVG spokeswoman said that the bus lines only experienced minor delays. “We have had more delays recently due to the many tractors in town," she said, referring to the current farmers' protest taking place in Berlin.