© ÜSTRA-Arp

Company profile

The ÜSTRA: The eco-friendly mobility service provider for Hanover

With its city buses and rails, the "ÜSTRA Hannoversche Verkehrsbetriebe Aktiengesellschaft" is among the leading German local public transportation companies. With about 174 million passengers per year, the ÜSTRA is the largest service provider for local public transport in Lower Saxony. The ÜSTRA is a traditional company. For 125 years, it has been inseparably intertwined with the City of Hanover.

With more than 41 million vehicle kilometers per year (rail and bus) and more than 2.000 employees, the ÜSTRA transports the Hanover people in the city center during the day every 10 minutes. Within the Transport Association of Greater Hanover (GVH) it cooperates with the transport companies "RegioBus Hannover GmbH", "DB Regio AG", "metronom Eisenbahngesellschaft mbH", "erixx GmbH" and "WestfalenBahn GmbH". The "Region Hannover" – authority for local transport – coordinates a balanced transport network and a uniform pricing system within the GVH.

Due to its modern buses and railways, the ÜSTRA provides environmentally friendly mobility. The light rail vehicles are a real climate sensation: their CO2 emissions have been reduced to zero. They generate some of the energy used themselves – from converted braking energy. The remaining share has been CO2-free electricity since 2015. The ÜSTRA bus fleet also protects the environment: With the hybrid buses and the three electric buses purchased in recent years, the CO2 balance has improved to 80 g CO2 / person km. In total, the CO2 emissions from bus and train are 11.5 g / person.km. This is more than 40 g CO2 /pers. km less than 5 years ago.

Electric bus campaign: Over the next few years, a total of 48 new electric buses will be delivered in order to completely convert bus operations in Hanover's city center to purely electric drive by early 2023.

In this way, ÜSTRA is making an important contribution to achieving the climate protection and environmental goals of the Hannover region and city.


Implementation of the GUW+

On account of the temporary intermediate storage of braking energy in stationary battery storage systems, ÜSTRA sees the "GUW+" concept as an opportunity for further energy savings in rail transport. The concept also offers the possibility to internally re-use traction batteries for stationary application and thus open up an additional payback path for the high investment costs of electric buses. As with the commissioning of the E-bus line 100/200 in 2016, ÜSTRA is proving its innovative capabilities.

As part of the electric bus campaign, ÜSTRA is setting up charging infrastructure at two depots and seven terminal stations for occasional charging – one terminal station is Peiner Straße. At this location, GUW+ replaces the existing "classic" substation at the nearby Döhren light rail depot and thus takes over the energy supply of light rail on the route and in the depot as well as the charging of the electric buses and, if necessary, electric cars.

After Döhren was identified as a suitable location, the design of the building began. The space requirements of GUW+-Technik served as a point of reference. In addition, reserves have been planned for a later expansion of the storage capacity by second-use bus batteries. Fire protection, acoustic and air-conditioning issues were a challenge that arose during construction. Therefore, a fire protection concept – as well as a combined acoustic and ventilation concept – were commissioned. With these concepts, doubts among the construction supervision were resolved and useful information on the design of the building was provided. At the same time, the specifications were developed in cooperation with the consortium. In the new field of charging infrastructure, adjustments on the demand side required dynamic reactions in the project. The progress in the project was ensured by weekly MS Teams meetings and, in some cases, on-site appointments at two-week intervals.

ÜSTRA is curious and looking forward to the next steps in the project, clarifying energy law issues, as well as the implementation. The building is expected to be constructed in the first quarter of 2021, followed by the installation of the GUW+ technology.


Project focus

  • Implementation partner, providing infrastructure for the project



Hardy Lehninger
Phone +49 511 1668 3526
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Svenja Koch
Phone +49 511 1668 3528
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ÜSTRA Hannoversche Verkehrsbetriebe Aktiengesellschaft
Am Hohen Ufer 6
D-30159 Hannover