HSL is launching a project to experiment procuring new buses for test purposes. The idea of the experiment is that operators can test drive new technology buses without major financial risks before the final procurement. At first, 12 electric buses would be procured for test drives. The project requires funding from the Ministry of Employment and Economy and the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation Tekes.
If the project proceeds, HSL will lease 12 electric buses. Bus operators can then test the buses without financial risks. HSL's goal is that in 2025 about one third of buses would be electric. The electric buses help to efficiently reduce nitrogen oxide emissions. Also other experiments in new technologies have been planned.
“New technology always involves risks that the operators are not willing to bear. In the new model, HSL procures the vehicles for testing allowing the operators to test the buses before making any long-term procurement decisions. If the model proves successful, it can be utilized also for introducing other new technologies on the tendered bus services," says the Director of HSL Transport Services Department Reijo Mäkinen.
The buses leased by HSL will be tested in Espoo and Helsinki. The testing will last four years and the budget of the project is at most 6 million euros.