Poland Delivers World’s First Antimicrobial Copper Bus

Antimicrobial Copper-equipped electric bus by Solaris

Poland’s newest electric city bus—Solaris Urbino 12—is the world’s first to feature handrails made from antimicrobial copper, which will continuously destroy germs deposited on their surfaces, helping reduce the spread of infection between passengers.

14th June 2016

Handrails are among the most frequently-touched surfaces on a bus, which prompted the decision to make them from an inherently hygienic material. Manufactured by local 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.

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.

Solaris Bus & Coach S.A. is a European leader in the development of electric vehicles, and has entered its copper-equipped model into the Bus Euro Test, which will select Europe’s best city bus in 2017. The Solaris Urbino 12’s batteries have a 240 kWh capacity and can be charged in two ways: via pantograph (during stops) or from a charger using a plug-in connector. Its range is therefore nearly unlimited, and innovative seats ensure a comfortable ride for passengers.

The new bus—combining environmentally-friendly electric technology with the public health benefits of antimicrobial copper—will be on show at IAA Commercial Vehicles in Hanover this September.

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.

For more information on antimicrobial copper, visit www.antimicrobialcopper.org.


For more information and high-resolution images, contact:

Bryony Samuel
Communications Officer
Copper Development Association

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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