Trams move to the road in Dresden: "Autotram Extra Grand" presented today

Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research the innovative vehicle “Autotram Extra Grand” has been developed to combine the advantages of road and tram rail transport. While equipped with wheels and, hence, flexible in route planning, the vehicle is 30 metres long and offers 96 seats as well as space for 160 standing passengers. As a hybrid vehicle it is equipped with an electric engine, which can cover a distance of 8-10km. A diesel-electric range extender works as a charger of the electric battery at each bus stop. Additionally, supercondensers enable to recover braking energy as electricity. According to German traffic law the bus’ turning radius does not exceed 12,5 metres.

This means that the new vehicle emits fewer pollutants than traditional busses, offers capacity to as many passengers as trams do while routes do not depend on an existing track network.

Fraunhofer IVI jointly with other partners including the university TU Dresden and Dresden’s public transport operator DVB developed and tested the Autotram. Attractive for transport operators is the research group’s outline that purchasing and maintenance costs for the Autotram are lower than for traditional trams. A first pilot of the “Autotram Extra Grand” is foreseen in Dresden in the autumn.

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