Stadtwerke Osnabrück is expanding its pioneering role in the field of electromobility. With 13 electric VDL buses, Osnabrück already has the largest electric fleet in Germany. Now that fleet will be expanded with 49 more Citeas SLFA-181 Electric from VDL Bus & Coach.
Today, Friday 5 July, signatures were placed on a new cooperation agreement. This sounded the starting shot for building the world's first electric articulated buses. In 2021, the city will have a total of 62 emission-free public transport buses in operation. “Pioneers like Stadtwerke Osnabrück are always needed to put new developments in practice,” says Boris Höltermann, director of VDL Bus & Coach Deutschland GmbH. “We are proud of the cooperation, which also shows that our concept is convincing.”
“We are confident the new buses will be as good as the first 13”, said Dr Stephan Rolfes, director of mobility at Stadtwerke Osnabrück. "The 100-day balance sheet, following the initial start of operation in March 2019, is very positive. Of course, there are always details that can be improved, but VDL Bus & Coach's electric buses take our public transport to the next level. Not only are we satisfied, we are also receiving very positive feedback from residents and passengers.”
VDL Bus & Coach plays an important role in the project management for the implementation of the electric bus fleet. Based on the experience gained with the first 13 buses, VDL B&C is working closely with Stadtwerke Osnabrück and Schaltbau to come up with ready-made solutions. Höltermann said, “In this type of complex project, good rapport among all parties is a basic requirement. With over 30 million kilometres travelled and more than 400 electric buses spread throughout much of Europe, we naturally take our responsibility as a transition partner.”
The 49 electric VDL Citea articulated buses will travel a total of 14,000 km per day. They will be in operation around the clock. This maximum utilization of the buses will be possible thanks to the optimized rapid charging concept. The batteries have an energy capacity of 216 kWh and can be charged at a rate of up to 320 kW.
The new fleet of electric buses is identical to the thirteen buses currently operating in Osnabrück. They feature the latest technology and design. Passenger comfort is paramount. This is reflected in the design of the seats, interior and lighting and the presence of USB connections. There are two main differences: the new vehicles will be equipped with larger batteries and will no longer have supplemental fossil fuel heating.
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.