Antimicrobial Copper-equipped Solaris Urbino Named Bus of the Year 2017

Antimicrobial-copper handles on the Solaris Urbino electric bus

In a ceremony today at the IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Hannover, the Solaris Urbino—the world’s first bus to feature handrails made from antimicrobial copper—has been named Best City Bus of 2017 in the Bus of the Year competition. In addition to its cutting-edge use of copper, the bus is also the first battery-powered vehicle to win this prestigious title.

21st September 2016

Run since 1989, this year’s competition—held in Brussels—saw competing vehicles assessed by a jury representing 20 countries. With a focus on green transport, four of the five finalists were electric whilst one was fuelled by natural gas. Factors assessed included acceleration, stopping distance, vibrations and noise level as well as subjective impressions from both a driver and passenger perspective.

Amongst other innovative features, the inclusion of antimicrobial copper handrails set the Solaris Urbino apart from the competition. Handrails are among the most frequently-touched surfaces on a bus, which prompted the decision to make them from an inherently hygienic material: copper.

Manufactured by Polish company STER, the rails are engineered to be lightweight, and the solid copper alloy chosen is attractive and colour stable with the added benefit of being antimicrobial.

Dr. Andreas Strecker, CEO of Solaris Bus  & Coach, observes: ‘This prestigious award comes as a result of great teamwork by all involved, including our employees,  suppliers and partner companies with whom we have developed our vehicles.’

‘Antimicrobial copper handrails are an innovative solution in European public transport,’ adds Maciej Szymanski, CEO of STER.’ We are delighted that they have become an important feature of this award-winning vehicle.’

Copper rapidly destroys germs that can be picked up, unseen, from frequently-touched surfaces in the environment, potentially causing an illness. These include bacteria, such as E. coli, and viruses, such as influenza and the ‘winter vomiting bug’, norovirus. Fewer germs on surfaces mean less risk of infections spreading between people touching them.

Copper shares its antimicrobial efficacy with over 500 copper alloys—including brass and bronze—creating a large family of metals collectively called antimicrobial copper. Products such as STER’s bear a Cu+ mark, showing they are made from approved, solid copper alloys with antimicrobial efficacy backed by scientific research. These hygienic properties last their full lifetime, as there is no coating or surface treatment to scratch off or wear away.

Touch surfaces made from solid antimicrobial copper are used by hospitals, schools, mass transit hubs, sports facilities and offices around the world to boost other hygiene measures, such as hand washing, cleaning and disinfection, to help reduce the spread of infections. They continue working in between routine cleans, requiring no additional staff training or special maintenance.

For more information on antimicrobial copper, visit


For more information and high-resolution images, contact:

Bryony Samuel
Communications Officer
Copper Development Association

In Poland:

Jowita Chojcan
Europejski Instytut Miedzi

Copper and copper alloys are engineering materials that are durable, colourful and recyclable and are widely available in various product forms suitable for a range of manufacturing purposes. Copper and its alloys offer a suite of materials for designers of functional, sustainable and cost-effective products.

Copper and certain copper alloys have intrinsic antimicrobial properties (so-called ‘Antimicrobial Copper’) and products made from these materials have an additional, secondary benefit of contributing to hygienic design. Products made from Antimicrobial Copper are a supplement to, not a substitute for standard infection control practices. It is essential that current hygiene practices are continued, including those related to the cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces.

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