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The Warsaw Voice » Business » October 29, 2010
Polish Exports Hits?
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Streetcar Named Swing: Object of Desire
October 29, 2010   
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Swing trams manufactured by the PESA rolling stock company in the northern city of Bydgoszcz have a chance to become a flagship Polish export. The trams stole the show at the recent InnoTrans trade fair for rail transport technology in Berlin, according to Polish free daily newspaper Metro. The trams attracted huge interest not only from experts and transport companies but also local governments responsible for buying means of public transportation for their cities.

PESA has signed its first foreign contract—for the delivery of nine trams to the Hungarian city of Szeged. The trams, to be called Csardas, will be delivered by September next year. There is every indication that another Hungarian city will order Swing trams from PESA. Two Turkish cities are also seriously interested in buying them.

The Swing is a wheelchair-accessible air-conditioned tram with many modern features for higher travel comfort and easier maintenance work. Travel comfort is ensured by a two-level spring suspension system. The driver’s cabin is ergonomic and ensures comfortable working conditions while the online diagnostics system makes it possible to monitor the fleet’s work in real time. Thanks to its modular design, the tram may be configured to meet the customer’s specific requirements. Depending on the operator’s transport needs, PESA offers trams composed of three, five or seven sections, including a bi-directional version. The trams can run on tracks with a gauge of 1,435 and 1,000 millimeters.

The Swings have already gained popularity on the Polish market. Last year, PESA won the largest contract on the European tram market—for the delivery of 186 trams for Warsaw. Thirty-three Swing trams are expected to be delivered to the city by the end of the year. Their number will rise to 120 by the time the Euro 2012 soccer tournament begins in Poland. The coastal city of Gdańsk has also ordered 35 Swing trams.

After Solaris buses, manufactured in Bolechowo near the western city of Poznań, Swing trams may become another Polish urban transport vehicle plying the streets of cities in Europe and elsewhere.

Revolutionary Engine
The TwinAir engine manufactured by Fiat Powertrain Technologies (FPT) in the southern Polish city of Bielsko-Biała has won the Technobest 2010 Prize from Autobest, one of Europe’s most important automotive juries, made up of 15 specialist journalists, mostly from Central and Southern European countries.

When announcing the prize, the jury acknowledged the technological innovation of the TwinAir engine. The innovative electro-hydraulic technology controlling the MultiAir inlet valves has made it possible to achieve outstanding efficiency and minimal fuel consumption.

Due to its small size, TwinAir can be combined with an electric motor to form a hybrid propulsion system. Its designers say the system will be particularly useful in urban traffic where it is possible to store and reuse energy that is normally wasted during frequent braking.

Electric Car for Young Drivers
Polish company Romet, once best known as a bicycle manufacturer, has unveiled a prototype of a small city car intended mainly for young drivers. The car, called the 4E—standing for Electric, Economical, Ecological, Easy—was unveiled at the recent Intermot fair in Cologne, Germany.

Just 2.45 meters long, the car has two small electric motors with a combined power output of 4kW. It achieves a top speed of 45 kilometers per hour and weighs less than 450 kilograms. It can seat two adults.

Holders of a category B1 driver’s license, which can be obtained by people who have turned 16, will be allowed to drive the Romet car because of its low weight and limited power. The car is also intended for holders of AM category licenses for motorcycles. The government is now working on a draft law to introduce this category. The license will be available to people who have turned 14.

The car is officially at the prototype phase. Romet hopes to launch production next year. It will be provided with lead or lithium-ion batteries, which would enable it to cover a distance of 100 kilometers before recharging. The car would cost 6,000 to 7,000 euros.
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