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Implementation Status Report on the efficiency of Li-Ion traction batteries in PKT company in Gdynia

The idea of equipping trolleybuses with auxiliary drives in case of some emergencies on the road is not completely new in Gdynia. In 2010 the first trolleybuses with Nickel-Cadmium batteries started to be introduced in Gdynia when PKT purchased 28 modern Solaris vehicles within an EU project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the Regional Operational Programme for the Pomorskie Voivodeship.

It should be emphasised that PKT had decided to go purely electric from the very beginning. As for auxiliary drives there is also diesel technology available and in fact it is quite popular with operators. However, the philosophy and strategy of PKT is to become greener and greener, which was the basis for the decision.

Officially, Nickel-Cadmium battery auxiliary drives allow a 12 metre vehicle to drive off the traction network with full passenger capacity and air-conditioning/ heating on for 5 km. In reality the distance proved to be much longer (up to 20 km). However the issue with Nickel-Cadmium cells is that they should not be discharged to more than 70% as otherwise their battery life decreases sharply. Fort this reason, Ni-Cd cells can only be used in case of emergencies.

Therefore, while preparing an proposal for CIVITAS DYN@MO project PKT decided to pursue a solution to overcome this problem and deploy the battery as an alternative drive that could be suitable and that would easily allow for regular off-traction courses to be covered by Gdynia trolleybuses. Within the project, PKT purchased two vehicles equipped with Li-Ion traction batteries and deployed them on an extended line, which has been operating since 1 May 2015 in the central area of Gdynia.

This report covers information on the process of introducing these vehicles and information on the evaluation results on the 18 months since the extended line is being operational.