Iveco achieves CNG bus success in Baku

Azerbaijan’s capital takes delivery of 151 CNG-powered Iveco Crealis bi-articulated buses for BRT system

CNG-powered Iveco Crealis buses on the tarmac in Baku, Azerbaijan.
CNG-powered Iveco Crealis buses on the tarmac in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, has modernised its public transport fleet with the delivery of 151 CNG-powered, 12m-long Crealis buses.

The first of these units came into service for the European Games in June 2015, which saw more than 6,000 athletes participating from 49 countries.

Now, the complete order is assembled and operational in the Azeri capital, and the possibility is open for the authorities there to adapt their CNG infrastructure to operate as a carbon-neutral fleet.

This is possible because the Crealis buses are powered by Iveco’s CNG Cursor 8 engine, and are compatible with biomethane — a fuel derived from agricultural, household or industrial organic waste that enables for zero-fossil-fuel, carbon-neutral travel.

The 12m-long Iveco Crealis buses are also bi-articulated buses that maximise the volume of passengers carried by each bus.

Bi-articulated fall under the transport concept, known as the bus rapid transit (BRT) system, which aims to maximise the effectiveness of buses as a form of urban transport, first through the introduction of dedicated bus lanes and raised bus stations, and finally through the introduction of bi-articulated buses.

The goal is to promote mobility and a shift in established travel habits by attracting car users to public transport — as well as minimising municipal costs.

Transport engineers report that a BRT route is ultimately two to three times less costly than a tramline of equivalent capacity, and faster to implement.

Such systems can also be rolled out quickly to match urban development plans and do not require costly construction work to commence operation.

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