Public transport operator UAB “Klaipėdos autobusų parkas” (KAP) successfully completed the public procurement procedure and signed a contract with UAB “Vėjo projektai” for the lease of 10 electric buses. Therefore, next summer in Klaipėda, Lithuania, ten new eco-friendly buses powered by green electricity produced from renewable energy sources should already be transporting the city’s passengers.
“Basically, we don’t buy buses, but we have purchased a complex service for ten years – delivery of buses, their technical service, construction of charging stations, electricity supply. We will be only responsible for the drivers and passenger transportation service. All other matters will have to be taken care of by the provider of the operational rental service”, said Vaidas Ramanauskas, general director of UAB “Klaipėdos autobusų parkas”.
This type of public transport lease service is new among Lithuanian carriers, but it is also known and making its way around the world. Close to 10 suppliers registered in the public procurement tender announced by KAP, and the Klaipėda-based company “Vėjo projektai” won. By the way, two electric buses “Dancer” produced by this company have been plying the streets of the port city for more than two years and have proven their technical reliability by serving public transport routes. Electric buses with ultra-fast charging travel almost 300 kilometres every day and carry more than 100,000 passengers a year.
According to Alvydas Naujėkas, CEO of UAB “Vėjo projektai”, already in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, and now with the acceleration of the energy and economic crisis, it has been noticed that only new comprehensive solutions can help passenger carriers to switch to climate-neutral vehicles.
“We are happy to cooperate with UAB “Klaipėdos autobusų parkas” – a carrier that is a leader in Europe in terms of bus route schedule compliance and that demonstrates sustainable business principles by looking for innovative ways to replace polluting buses with new ones at the lowest financial costs. “A complex Dancer Mobility solution provided by us and fixed payment for kilometres driven will allow KAP not only to avoid initial investments in the purchase of buses, but also to save funds for service and maintenance, as well as charging infrastructure,” says A. Naujėkas.
According to the plan approved by Klaipėda city Council, by 2030 KAP must purchase 50 buses for city passenger transportation. Such a decision was influenced by EU environmental directives, which stipulate that public transport powered by fossil fuels should not run-on central city streets, and no less important is the fact that electric buses are much more environmentally friendly – they do not emit solid particles and are characterized by less noise and vibration, which is important for the quality of life of citizens.
“It is good news that the Klaipėda-based company is competitive and won the electric bus service tender. In the face of the global crisis, every job is important, and with this project in Klaipėda, they will undoubtedly increase. And it is doubly gratifying that, on the initiative of city politicians and a municipality-owned public transport operator, the paths for zero-emission transport in the city are opening up more and more, and what seemed to be only a dream five years ago is coming true: in Klaipėda we will travel by comfortable public transport, we will breathe cleaner air”, said Vytautas Grubliauskas, the Mayor of Klaipėda.