Poland’s Minister of Science and Higher Education, Jarosław Gowin, has stated that electric buses – produced largely inside the country – could start regular service in Polish urban areas in the southwest of the country very soon. He was speaking at a press conference on Wednesday.
The Ministry that Gowin heads, along with the National Research and Development Centre (the NCBR) have developed a new program, which Gowin referred to as “emission-free public transport.” He stated, “Its aim is the creation of zero-emission electric buses. The program will be implemented within the framework of the so-called EIP. This is a new mode of public procurement, in which the state creates a new market for innovative products based needs reported by Polish cities.” He added that, thus far, 21 cities, located mainly in Upper Silesia, have already committed to participating in the program. Some electric buses already run on Warsaw’s public transit system, although the entire fleet is not electric-powered.
Gowin told reporters that the program intends, on the one hand, to support the Polish economy, and on the other, has the social goal [of resulting in] healthy air and [improving] the health of Poles. “I am convinced that electric buses in Polish cities may begin to run regularly […] not as a pilot program, but as permanent bus lines,” Gowin said. His comments came in light of the recent crisis in which damaging smog enveloped many Polish cities.
NCBR’s director, Maciej Chorowski, stressed that electromobility is a flagship project plan under Minister Morawiecki’s national economic plan, and that recent efforts to curb smog provided justification to launch a special program. He added that NCBR wants to develop the electric buses in conjunction “with two or three private companies.” He sated that he expected the government’s financial contribution to be approximately PLN 100 million.