Unexpected turning point in Milan’s maxi-tender for 340 electric buses. According to rumours published in the Italian media Autobusweb, in the two main lots (for as many as 310 12-meter and 18-meter e-buses), the only bidders were BYD and Solaris. The latter, today the monopolist of ATM’s electric bus fleet, was reportedly excluded in the first instance due to bid discrepancies.

“ATM would then have adopted a special procedure for remedying formal deficiencies in tender bids. After analysing the documents presented, ATM seems to have decided to exclude Solaris, which will in any case have 30 days to present an appeal”, reads Autobusweb.

Solaris and BYD competing for 310 e-buses

As of summer 2022, there were some 170 electric buses in operation in Milan, with the target of reaching 250 by end 2022. All of them carry Solaris‘ logo: the Polish manufacturer was awarded a first contract for 25 vehicles and won second order for 250 units in July 2019.

The game is still wide open, and it is difficult to imagine that Solaris (among the European market leaders, best in class in Italy, very well represented in Milan) could have stumbled, twice, over a formal error.

However, there are two possible scenarios: the first, if Solaris does not appeal, in the next few years Milan will have one of the largest fleets of BYD-made Chinese e-buses in Europe. Another hypothesis, Solaris lodges the appeal and wins it. Third? Tender annulled.


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