Innovation & technology
E-mobility: the buyer
When Eveline Wüest is procuring buses, she only gets those with alternative drive technology.
When Eveline Wüest (30) goes shopping, she does it on a somewhat larger scale: the product she wants weighs up to 28 tonnes and has six to ten wheels. A trained car mechanic and engineer, she is responsible for procuring Postbuses equipped with alternative vehicle technology. She currently has five electric buses under her wing. “We are still in the initial phase with this drive system”, she says.
The sticking points are the range, charging strategies, temperature differences as well as topography. “We primarily operate rural routes and face completely different obstacles to those of a city bus.” Although an electric bus costs less to maintain than a diesel one, it does cost a lot more to procure in the first place. Those wishing to order buses are (as yet) unprepared to pay these additional costs. This is why PostBus is only deploying buses where there is clear demand. “We urgently need a political framework to promote electric vehicles in public transport”, she underlines. In other European countries such as Norway, electrification in public transport is doing well thanks to state support.
Eveline Wüest loves how her job is so varied. “I am involved in analysing and planning routes, technical discussions with suppliers, testing the vehicles, as well as driver training and analysis of the data gathered from the kilometres covered.” The fact that she needs to get her hands dirty from time to time is not a problem for her.