Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is set to acquire 40 battery-powered trolleybuses in a bid to diversify its public transport fleet. The procurement will consist of 22 trolleybuses measuring 18 meters in length and 18 buses measuring 12 meters. Deputy Mayor Vladimir Svet shared insights, stating, “The first of these new vehicles is anticipated to hit the streets of Tallinn by the end of 2024 or the beginning of 2025.”
The decision represents a shift from Tallinn's previous plan announced in 2019, aiming to transition entirely to battery buses for public transport by 2035, driven partly by cost considerations. Svet highlighted the challenge of aligning fleet expansion with available charging infrastructure capacity, stating, “If we want more than that, we have to start burying a lot of money in connection fees.”
Svet estimated the acquisition costs at around 30 million euros for the 40 vehicles, with individual bus prices expected to range from approximately 650,000 euros for a 12-meter trolleybus to 800,000 euros for an 18-meter articulated bus equipped with both battery and overhead line capabilities. He expressed concerns about limited competition among European manufacturers potentially leading to higher prices.
Tallinn, which once boasted nine trolleybus routes, currently operates four, with plans to revive some decommissioned lines using the new vehicles. The city's existing fleet of 45 trolleybuses, some of which are up to 20 years old, necessitates immediate replacements, prompting consideration of using conventional buses on trolley routes in the interim, according to Svet.