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M. Skuodis: Lithuanian electric buses contribute to the development of green public transport

Date

2021 07 27

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2
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After visiting Vėjo projektai, a company in Klaipėda which produces Lithuanian electric buses called Dancer, Minister of Transport and Communications Marius Skuodis presented an ambitious objective – by 2030, to replace the old means of public transport and to include green, renewable energy-powered means of transport adapted for persons with special needs in the country’s bus fleet. 

“Sustainable mobility and green transport are some of the main priorities of the Lithuanian transport sector, so we are proud to have innovative, renewable energy-powered electric buses designed and produced in Lithuania. In less than a decade, we are planning major public transport changes, so the contribution of the country's designers and producers of green means of transport is essential,” says Minister Skuodis.

Vėjo projektai, a company based in Klaipėda, designs renewable energy-powered electric transport systems for international markets. The first two innovative, extremely fast-charging (in as little as 10 minutes) Dancer electric buses were produced for Klaipėda and have been circulating in the port city since 2020. Dancer, designed in Lithuania, is one of the lightest electric buses among the ones currently in circulation, which means lower energy consumption. In 2022-2024, there are plans to expand the scale of production by constructing a semi-serial production unit and developing an 18-meter triaxial Dancer city bus.

Lithuania is already planning higher requirements for green purchases of public transport – by 2026, purchases of zero-emission buses should constitute 80 % of all bus purchases, and by the end of 2030, an ambitious objective is pursued, which is to purchase only zero-emission means of transport. According to the Government’s programme, by 2027, all public transport will have to use renewable energy sources.

There are over 8 000 minibuses, buses and trolleybuses currently registered in Lithuania – as much as 88 % are powered by diesel fuel, only 5 % by electricity, and 3 % by natural gas. The remaining means of public transport are powered by combined fuel.

In order to have more zero-emission buses circulating in the country, it is planned to allocate EUR 69 million for purchasing zero-emission buses and EUR 6 million for their charging infrastructure from the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). Subsequently, it is estimated that 230 new electric buses would be introduced to the Lithuanian bus fleet. Such financial incentive will be provided to small municipalities that have not prepared and implemented sustainable mobility plans. 

Large municipalities that have sustainable urban mobility plans, which have been approved and received funding from the European Union funds, and aim to renew their bus fleets are planned to receive EUR 160 million from the EU funds between 2021 and 2027. It is expected that these municipalities will be able to purchase around 630 zero-emission means of public transport. 

In addition, it is planned to allocate funds from the Climate Change Programme managed by the Ministry of Environment for the renewal of the public transport of municipalities.