Hungarian bus industry revived with Chinese help

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Once the pride of the Hungarian industry, bus maker company Ikarus may receive a new lease of life with the help of China’s CRRC Corp. Ltd., the world’s largest rolling stock manufacturer, daily Magyar Hírlap reports.

The Székesfehérvár, central Hungary-based company has just launched its new CityPioneer fully electric bus at Busworld in Brussels, the world’s largest bus fair which this year has its 25th anniversary edition.

The CityPioneer is a 12-meter long bus with the electric power train supplied by CCRC and its biggest novelty is that it incorporates 5G mobile technology, making it one of the first truly smart urban transportation vehicles. The Hungarian side supplies the body of the bus, conceived from the ground up to incorporate the Chinese power train that has been proven by already propelling some 120,000 buses in China.

The fully stainless steel body comes with a 16-year warranty, the bus – including its dimensions, doors, floor height and engine train – are fully EU-compliant but due to the Chinese components are 15 to 20 percent cheaper than competing models from other parts of the world. The first production models will roll off the assembly line in 2020 and the company hopes to win both domestic and foreign orders, while it also has the financial support of the Hungarian government.

Ikarus – whose origins go back to the last decade of the 19th century – was from 1950 to 1989 the dominant bus supplier for Eastern Bloc countries, with tens of thousands of units exported.

Title image: Ikarus’ fully electric CityPioneer bus (Magyar Hírlap/Gábor Baksa)

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