Helsinki’s first fully electric bus to hit the road in January

Helsinki will take a major environmental step on Monday 23 January when the capital city’s first fully electric bus will hit the road. The Linkker bus will operate on route 23 between Ruskeasuo and the Railway Square (Rautatientori).

In total, four Linkker buses will enter service in Helsinki during the winter. At first, the bus on route 23 will recharge its battery at the Invalidisäätiö terminus in Ruskeasuo but a charging station is being constructed at the Railway Square and another one along the route of bus 55 in Koskela. The construction of charging stations at the termini of route 51 in Hakaniemi and Malminkartano will begin in spring 2017.

The Linkker buses are the first fast-charging electric buses in Finland. The plan is to bring a total of 12 of these buses into service in the capital region by the end of 2017. The batteries can be fast charged at the termini while passengers board the bus. The batteries need 2-4 minutes of charging to complete one round.

Linkker buses are energy-efficient

Fully electric buses generate no harmful local emissions and consume only a fraction of the energy consumed by diesel buses. Linkker consumes only a little energy among others because of its full-aluminum body, making the bus very light compared to steel-framed buses.

Electric buses support HSL’s strategic goal of increasing the share of low-emission vehicles in public transport.

 “HSL has committed itself to promoting sustainable development. Our goal is to reduce local emissions and carbon emissions by over 90 per cent by 2025 from the 2010 levels,” says HSL Executive Director Suvi Rihtniemi. "To reach this goal, we need new vehicle technology. Our goal is for 30 per cent of the buses operating on our bus services to be electric by 2025.”

“HSL plays a key role in Helsinki’s efforts to become a pioneer in the climate and intelligent transport sectors,” says the Mayor of Helsinki Jussi Pajunen. "The ambitious goal of an electric bus fleet is vital for implementing Helsinki’s vision on carbon neutral future.”

The Linkker buses are part of the ePeli project, which is a spin-off of the eBUS project coordinated by the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) and supported by the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Tekes). HSL’s partners in the project include, for example Helsinki City Transport HKL, who is constructing the fast-charging stations in Helsinki, and Helsingin Bussiliikenne Oy, the operator of route 23.  

HSL has offered bus operators the opportunity to test new electric buses without effects on the operators’ finances. HSL exceptionally procures the Linkker buses itself, because it would have been unreasonable to place the technology risk on the operators.

Linkker bus

  • About 13 meters long
  • Weight about 9.500 kg
  • 40 seats
  • Battery capacity 55 kWh

Website of Linkker Oy