Luleå launches the world’s northernmost battery-powered bus route

The buses will be powered with locally generated renewable energy.

By Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer - October 17, 2018
Luleå, the regional capital of Norrbotten, saw battery-powered buses enter service this week. (Thomas Nilsen / The Independent Barents Observer)

Cold climate is no obstacle for green battery commuting in the largest city in Sweden’s northernmost county.

No smell of diesel, no noise, no shaking from the engines. Passengers commuting to Luleå city center from the suburbs of Kronan or Porön on board one of the five brand new electric buses will have a comfortable ride, the municipality reports.

The inaugural run came, with big festivities over the weekend, while regularly scheduled service began Monday.

Chargers for the buses are placed in both ends of the route. Charging takes some 5-7 minutes and gives the bus a range of about 50 kilometers. The electricity for charging the batteries comes from 100 percent renewable hydropower and wind-power produced in northern Sweden. Each bus has seating for 47 passengers who can enjoy WiFi and chargers for mobile devices in each seat.

The electric city buses project is a cooperation between the municipality of Luleå, the local energy company and the city’s bus company LLT.

Electric bus traffic has already proved a success in another northern Swedish city, Umeå, were 12 green-colored battery buses serve routes within the city.

Located just 100 kilometers south of the Arctic Circle, Luleå is now the world’s northernmost city with battery-powered city busses. Murmansk, however, has the world’s northernmost electric buses, with a comprehensive network of trolleybuses driving the streets of the northern Russian city since 1962.