Several German cities halt use of e-buses following series of unresolved cases of fire
The potential risks of electromobility are being closely examined in Germany after a third major fire in a bus depot apparently caused by an electric bus. Public transport companies are taking action after the electric bus allegedly triggered a fire in Stuttgart last week, newspaper Die Welt reports. The Munich public transport company, MVG, is taking eight similar e-buses out of service until the cause of the fire in Stuttgart has been clarified. The fire may have started while the bus was being charged in the depot, according to investigators, who assume that a technical defect may be the cause of the fire. The 30 September fire completely destroyed 25 buses in the depot, including two with electric drives, causing damage worth millions of euros. The Stuttgart transport company, SSB, has also halted the use of electric buses in the city. The incident followed a similar fire in June in a bus depot in Hanover, which destroyed the hall and nine buses. E-buses were then recalled but are expected to resume service in November. In April, a fire at the Rheinbahn depot in Düsseldorf caused damages totalling several million euros. Investigators determined the fire had been triggered by a technical issue but could not clearly identify the cause.
While the number of electric buses in German public transport doubled last year compared to 2019, a recent survey found that 58 percent of Germans had doubts about the “environmental compatibility” of electric mobility.