Recently two exceptional trolleybuses have arrived in the city of Gdynia, north of Poland. These are two innovative Solaris Trollino 12 equipped with alternative power supply made of Lithium-Ion batteries. On 24th April, an official launching event of these vehicles into the city’s transport system took place. The event was attended by the local authorities, citizens and the representatives of SOLARIS. The novelty is the state-of-the-art lithium-ion batteries installed in the trolleybuses for the first time allowing vehicles to run autonomously without the traction network for ca. 15 km. The batteries are charged directly from the traction network during the trolleybus regular operation. The energy may be also charged in any spot from a three-phase socket.
So far the inhabitants and visitors in Gdynia and Sopot on the Baltic Sea coast are used to the sight of trolleybuses permanently linked to the overhead lines with their pantographs with the exception of short emergency rides. Since May 1st, the newly purchased trolleys, to a great but positive astonishment of Gdynians, have been operating an extended unwired section of the line 21 in the central area of the city. The trolleys get off the traction network, go on batteries for 2 km to a popular Gdynia Aquarium and get back to the traction network again.
New trolley buses are implemented by PKT within the CIVITAS DYN@MO project measure Innovative Li-Ion hybrid trolleybuses on new line. The experience gained with Li-Ion trolleybuses will also be of valuable use for the ELIPTIC project (Electrification of public transport in cities), H2020, launched on 1st June in Brussels, in which PKT is also a partner. One of the aims of ELIPTIC is to explore the opportunities that existing electric transport infrastructure offers for further transport electrification without traction expansion. The usage of battery technology in the trolleybus system of Gdynia is undoubtedly a breakthrough moment and a huge step in rethinking the direction for its further development taking it more into a partly unwired trolley-ebus hybrid.
PKT (Przedsiębiorstwo Komunikacji Trolejbusowej) realizes passenger trolleybus transport on 12 day lines in Gdynia and Sopot. It covers 5 million vkm a year. It maintains 43 km of traction network. At the moment its fleet consists of 91 trolleybuses. Since 2005 the company has been very active in EU co-funded projects and in 2014 it received a prestigious European Commission Regiostars Award in the category Citystar – Investment Projects in Sustainable Urban Public Transport.