Mobility  |  Successes  |  15.12.2011

Solaris – green mobility for public services

Solaris Bus & Coach is a Polish enterprise producing a wide variety of public transport vehicles. It has gained a well-deserved reputation in the scope of sustainable industry technologies. This family-run company has facilitated public transport by introducing low-floor buses and trams and now it is fostering green revolution on Polish and European roads.

For 15 years the company has been diversifying the product range into ecological, state-of-the art city and suburban buses, trolleybuses, buses for special purposes and trams. Achievements of the Solaris embrace vehicles with electric motors, hybrid systems or compressed natural gas propulsion, which reduces the level of harmful emissions by 85-100%. Design is both eco- and user-friendly, since the company provides wheelchair ramps, driving safety, better visibility for passengers, low entrances, seats for infants, places for big luggage, all intended to promote public transport as highly enjoyable and comfortable. The enterprise manufactures also special vehicles for long distances, airport transfers or mobile blood donation.

In 2006 the Solaris Bus & Coach made a breakthrough by launching urban buses with hybrid propulsion, the first of such kind in Europe at that time. Nowadays it is focusing on the second generation hybrids where emission reduction and fuel savings by 30% are possible due to sustainable technologies, such as diesel engine (with lower energy consumption up to 75%), two electric motors, regenerative braking, roof-mounted batteries reusing recaptured energy and GPS-based energy management. 

It is worth remarking that since 2000 the enterprise has been providing  24 countries with buses manufactured in a factory hall near Poznań. Solaris also provided transport services during climate summit COP 14 in Poznań in 2008. Recognition in Germany, where Solaris buses operate in over 100 cities, has earned the company Polish-German Economic Prize in 2011. The Solaris Bus & Coach is conspicuous also from gender perspective – the German daily Handelsblatt has acclaimed the chief executive officer Solange Olszewska as one of the 100 most influential businesswomen.

The Solaris Bus & Coach should be distinguished for non-corporate philosophy and proving that a family-owned, medium-sized company (2000 employees in 2011) can both influence and green international markets. “We believe that the economy - just like nature - needs diversity to support and facilitate growth”, this motto coined by the enterprise is a good point of departure for wide promotion of green mobility.

The Green Institute described the Solaris in one of its publication “Green City of the New Generation. The guidebook for the 21st century."

Opracowanie: zespół www.zielonyistytut.pl

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