FlixBus has launched Portugal’s first electric express bus, in partnership with local operator Auto Viação Feirense. The route from Bragança Bus Terminal to Porto includes stops at Vila Real and Amarante. This isn’t the first time Flixbus has used (or piloted) a long-distance electric bus.
In Portugal, FlixBus opted for a zero-emission bus from Yutong which has a capacity of 47 seats and a distance of about 350 km, with charging taking about 3 hours. The service runs between Porto on the coast and Bragança, near the Northern border with Spain.
Pablo Pastega, General Director of FlixBus for Portugal and Spain said, “This is only a small step, but it really represents sustainable mobility in Portugal, for FlixBus, to continue the project we have to provide sustainable mobility and be accessible to millions of people.”
FlixBus had already started to do so in Germany, when it launched the Mannheim – Frankfurt connection. However, the BYD bus is starting to show problems. FlixBus CEO Fabian Stenger at the time explained that the lithium iron phosphate battery of the BYD C9 proved to be so fault-prone, that “the bus had to stop for several days at a time and many trips had to be cancelled”. In the end, the company canceled the route.
In California, Flixbus has been testing buses from Motor Coach Industries (MCI) between San Francisco and Sacramento since 2019.
Recently, however, FlixBus has turned to Freudenberg and ZF to start developing hydrogen-powered buses for low-emission intercity services. The three-year ‘HyFleet’ project focuses on developing fuel cells to enable continuous operation, for at least 35,000 hours. Another research focus is on hybrid strategies as a power source, which is called “the right size” between fuel cells and batteries.
André Schwämmlein co-founder and CEO of FlixMobility said “We are proud to be part of the HyFleet project to develop Europe’s first fuel cell powered long-haul bus by 2024.”