The city of Rennes in north-western France has launched a call to tender for a fully-electric bus fleet in 2020. The call is seeking responses from bus manufacturers for a fully-electric bus that is also articulated, like those currently operating in Rennes.

Although fully-electric standard buses 12 metres in length already exist, there is no articulated counterpart on the market. Rennes is looking for proposals from manufacturers to develop both standard and articulated buses that are 100 per cent electric.

Another condition is that the use of electricity must not compromise the distance that buses are able to travel. Proposals must also include appropriate measures for storing electricity that is compatible with Rennes’ transportation network, as well as specifications for maintenance of vehicles and a concept for a business plan.

Buses will first be tested on several existing lines of the Rennes bus network. Following a successful test phase, Rennes foresees issuing a new tender to replace all buses in the city with electric models. Rennes is clearly focussing on electromobility in the future, as the number of electric bicycles in the city’s Vélo STAR bike-sharing scheme is set to almost triple in 2016, from 350 bicycles to 1000.