With the delivery of a total of 16 electric buses to various towns and cities, VDL Bus & Coach is helping to make public transport in Germany even more sustainable. With 7, 6 and 3 VDL Citeas respectively, Plön, Völklingen and Neuss are choosing to realise their ambitions for a more liveable city in the coming years.
Managing Director Boris Höltermann of VDL Bus & Coach Deutschland GmbH sees a clear trend. "As more and more subsidies become available, the choice to purchase zero emission buses has become easier. Doing so will enable not only the big cities but also smaller towns to achieve their desired greening more quickly and effectively. This is an important development for VDL Bus & Coach because of its continuity and spread. We are looking to use our experience as a European frontrunner in the field of electric public transport as widely as possible."
Citea SLF-120 and SLFA-180
Until October 2022, VDL Bus & Coach will be supplying electric buses to Plön, a town in the north-German state of Schleswig-Holstein. The order is for 7 Citeas SLF-120 Electric, which are recharged at night in the depot. The batteries have a capacity of 350 kWh.
Over the next 3 years, 6 Citeas will also take to the road in Völklingen. This town in Saarland will have 5 Citeas SLF-120 Electric and 1 Citea SLFA-180 Electric at its disposal. These buses, too, are charged not on the route but in the depot.
VDL Bus & Coach is supplying 2 Citeas SLF-120 Electric and 1 Citea SLFA-180 Electric to Stadtwerke Neuss, near Düsseldorf. Although these buses are also charged in the depot, the vehicles are also equipped with a pantograph. Opportunity charging is one of the possibilities in the long run.
Four million electric kilometres
Plön, Völklingen and Neuss join the cities of Münster, Cologne, Osnabrück, Oberhausen-Bottrop, Leipzig and Kiel, which are already making a daily contribution to VDL Bus & Coach's objective in Germany: 'Aiming for Zero'. Since the first 5 VDL Citeas SLF-120 Electric for Münster in 2015, more than 100 fully electric vehicles have been delivered in Germany to date, representing more than 4 million experiences of electric public transport.
Höltermann: "Our cooperation with these 3 new locations shows that we have the confidence of cities and municipalities committed to making public transport more sustainable. In order to be able to optimally serve our customers and users in the field of e-mobility, we have put together a strong team working from our location in Büren. This includes 20 specialists in the field of advice, training, after sales and service. In this way, we can offer a complete package including cooperation with professional partners in the field of charging technologies and infrastructure."
Opportunities for the future
The impact of COVID-19 on public transport and tourism is significant. VDL Bus & Coach has also had to adapt to the new reality. Klaas Mulder, sales manager for Coach and Public Transport: "It is clear that demand for coaches has fallen sharply as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but we continue to look for solutions in cooperation with the customer. For example, we have recently introduced a complete set of recommendations for the Futura and Citea ranges which will reduce the risk of contamination during the journey."
Mulder sees sufficient opportunities in the German market, both in the short and long term: "Think of our Medibus, which is currently being used in a large-scale study by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) into the spread of COVID-19 in Germany. But we are also seeing increasing demand for our Futura FDD: a double-deck coach that is being fully developed and built for use in public transport. Various solutions can be offered including wheelchair and standing places and the installation of a wheelchair toilet."
About VDL Bus & Coach
The core activities of VDL Bus & Coach consist of the development, manufacturing, sales and after-sales of a wide range of buses, coaches and chassis modules, the conversion or extension of mini & midi buses and the purchase and sales of used buses. VDL Bus & Coach consists of multiple bus companies that operate cooperatively in the global market. Manufacturing takes place in Western Europe. VDL Bus & Coach places high value on quality, safety, durability, the environment, low fuel consumption, comfort and low maintenance costs.