TPER Bologna and the first tender for battery-electric buses

TPER Bologna has published a first tender for the purchase of battery-electric buses. The procurement involves two zero-emission buses, with the option for another 18 units. Therefore, the total amount is up to 20 electric buses equipped for roof pantograph-charging.

The tender requirements also include the supply of two charging stations (for 100 kW each). Finally, also the supply of spare parts for 14 years in included in the tender. The estimated value of the investment is 24.48 million euros, while the duration of the framework contract has been set at 168 months (i.e. 14 years).

TPER Bologna has recently awarded MAN with a tender for 40 units of mild hybrid buses with CNG engine. What is more, still on the topic of energy transition in public transport, the very first LNG intercity buses in Europe are currently running in the Italian city.

The tender issued by TPER, the public transport company that manages Bologna public transport network, seems to be pushing for a long-term partnership as proved by the 14 years contract for spare parts. Therefore, reliable industrial players are required. Bidders must certify that they have had an average annual turnover of at least 48.96 million euros in the period 2016, 2017 and 2018. But there is more.

Further issues that manufacturers will have to take into account are contained in the chapter ““Capacità professionale e tecnica” (Technical and professional skills). Here, precisely, the bidder is required to “Have carried out in the last three years, supplies of electric buses for at least 40 buses to public or private clients”.

After-sale services in the spotlight

Still taking a look at the document published by TPER Bologna, we could mention that the manufacturer is obliged to “have an after-sales support structure for maintenance and spare parts”.

The next appointment is scheduled for 2 p.m. on 21st March 2020, when the bids will be opened at TPER headquarters. Then the vehicles will be subject to real condition tests on the road, which will be held in the period between 13 and 20 April 2020.

TPER has decided of stop buying diesel buses. And the company has a considerable experience with gas engines (more than 300 CNG buses operate in Bologna) and hybrids (mild ones included).