The E-bus system

With its “master plan for E-buses”, HOCHBAHN is setting up the operative and infrastructure prerequisites for the procurement of exclusively zero emission buses from 2020 on.

Thanks to the commitment HOCHBAHN has already shown to this project, we are a public transport pioneer of electromobility in Germany. In March 2017 we therefore received the EBUS Award, the first international environmental prize for public transport. It is awarded to companies and individuals who have rendered outstanding service to the further development of electromobility in public transport over the preceding two years by developing and implementing technical and operative solutions.


Facts & Figures Bus

Passengers (in millions/year) 212
Lines 111
Route length in km 924,6
Stops 1,327
Vehicles 820
Passenger km (in millions) 660
average speed in km/h 18.6


Zero emissions - only zero emission buses will be procured from 2020 on

Hamburg has set its sights on an ambitious target. Starting in 2020, only zero emission buses are to be procured. This is an important element in the city’s strategy for eliminating diesel fumes and improving air quality.

Within a period of only ten to fifteen years, HOCHBAHN will have switched over its bus fleet, comprising some 1,000 vehicles, entirely to zero emission drives. In order to provide higher incentives and investment security for the vehicle manufacturers and to speed up the development of zero emission buses with innovative propulsion systems for regular services, HOCHBAHN has launched a joint procurement initiative. A letter of intent to this effect was signed on 30 August 2016 with the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG). Public transport operators in Cologne, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, Munich and Darmstadt have also come on board in the joint procurement initiative. Together, the companies are currently working on reaching a common definition of suitable concepts.

HOCHBAHN will open a tender process for ten new E-buses and the associated infrastructure before the end of this year. Further E-buses and the necessary recharging infrastructure will be put out to tender in 2018, to be delivered before 2020. The models are planned to be close to a series production type and the suppliers must guarantee their reliability, availability and range. 

The "Innovation line 109"

The bus line 109 is one of Hamburg’s most attractive routes – and on top of that the first “innovation line” in Europe. The HOCHBAHN is testing various innovative propulsion technologies on this line. Our goals: less CO2, less noise, more comfort.

The mission behind the innovation line is this: all the currently relevant innovative drives, ranging from diesel hybrid buses to fuel cell vehicles, are being tested under identical conditions in day-to-day service. This will give us the best possible overview of the advantages and disadvantages of the individual technologies, so that we can make targeted improvements together with the manufacturers. The innovative propulsion technologies enable even more environmentally friendly green bus transport, able to satisfy the demands for sustainable mobility and high quality of life we aspire to in our city. 

Our new battery bus has, besides two electric motors, two high voltage batteries on board which recharge constantly en route. The principle here is very simple: every time the bus brakes, energy is generated, which is stored in the two batteries. This energy charge is topped up before and after each journey. Then our bus is tanked up at the bus depot or via the charging points at the start and end stops of the route.

The Innovation bus line hamburg
The "Innovation line 109" © HOCHBAHN


New bus depot Gleisdreieck - more space for green buses in Hamburg

To provide the capacity for a larger and even more environmentally friendly range of buses in Hamburg we are now building a new HOCHBAHN bus depot at the so-called “Gleisdreieck”, a brownfield site where railway tracks formerly met between the bypass track around the city for goods trains and the urban railways line S1 and the metro line U1 in the northern part of Hamburg. The central location of the bus depot will enable us to operate efficiently with short access distances.

From the end of 2018, “Gleisdreieck” will give up to 240 HOCHBAHN buses a roof over their heads. On top of that, the infrastructure of the new depot will provide the prerequisites for switching the bus fleet over to a future of electromobility. A scientific study has shown that a comprehensive power supply for all existing HOCHBAHN bus depots can be guaranteed up to the year 2030. The brand new depot at “Gleisdreieck” can supply up to 250 E-buses just by itself.  For this, it will be equipped with its own electric power substation with 110 kV connection.

New bus depot Gleisdreieck
New bus depot Gleisdreieck © HOCHBAHN
HOCHBAHN - mobility services for Hamburg

HOCHBAHN - mobility services for Hamburg

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