The Eindhoven region will have one of Europe’s largest electric bus fleets starting Sunday 11 December 2016. That is the day the new timetable starts and passenger transport company Hermes will put 43 innovative VDL Citeas SLFA Electric in service that emit no harmful substances and produce far less noise than regular buses. Hermes and VDL worked together closely during the deployment project to develop the timetable with electric Citeas. The buses will be topped up periodically so as to have sufficient range to be kept in service all day. VDL also delivered the charging stations and supplies them with power in cooperation with the electricity supplier. This makes VDL not only bus supplier but also system supplier.
Willem van der Leegte, president and chairman of the board of VDL Groep: “We are very proud to have the privilege of working with Hermes and the province of Noord-Brabant on the transition to zero emission bus transport in Zuidoost-Brabant. We have always been a forerunner in the development of economical, environmentally friendly vehicles. With the delivery of the 43 electric Citeas a big step has been taken in boosting the sustainability of public transport.”
The tender was issued by the Province of Noord-Brabant with the objective of transitioning to entirely zero emission public transport in the period 2016-2025. This intention is for the City of Eindhoven to go fully electric in 2020. Passenger transport company Hermes has won the Zuidoost-Brabant concession and will work with the province and various partners, including VDL, TU/e, Fontys, Eindhoven Airport, Stichting Zet and Storeplay, in the coming years to further give shape to this innovative concession. In addition to zero emission, the concession includes ambitious targets in the areas of sustainability, innovation and mobility. This makes it one of the most progressive concessions in Europe.
VDL Citea SLFA Electric
The VDL Citea SLFA Electric is an electric articulated bus with a length of 18.1 metres built in an updated, futuristic BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) design. With the delivery of the 43 Citeas SLFA Electric Zuidoost-Brabant has one of the largest zero emission bus fleets in Europe. The buses will operate on certain lines so often that the result will be a tram-like system. These high-frequency lines go to key destinations in Eindhoven, such as Eindhoven Airport and the High Tech Campus. At these connections travellers will no longer have to wait long for the next bus because they will operate as a full-fledged ‘show up and go’ system.
Latest state-of-the-art technology
The replacement of the vehicle fleet in Zuidoost-Brabant will be carried out in stages. Further development will continue throughout the concession period and the results will be implemented in a subsequent stage. Thus each stage will be carried out utilizing the latest state-of-the-art technology and the VDL zero emission buses with accompanying charging infrastructure can also be functionally and economically optimized every step of the way. In terms of sustainability, environmental friendliness and implementation of innovations, this approach to the development of public transport is nothing other than revolutionary.
65 VDL Citeas SLE, 29 VDL community buses and 2 VDL MidCity buses
In addition to the 43 Citeas SLFA Electric, 65 Citeas SLE, 29 VDL community buses and 2 VDL MidCity buses were also delivered. These buses are needed to convert part of the current diesel fleet to Euro 6 versions to achieve a cleaner transition to zero emissions.
The VDL Citea SLE has a length of 12.9 metres and is exceptionally luxurious compared to the buses in the current fleet. The extremely comfortable seats are adjustable and fitted with armrests and folding tables. All seats face the direction of travel. There is Wi-Fi on board as well as a large number of USB connections. The presence of beautifully designed luggage racks makes the coach-like experience complete.
The community buses have an 8+1 seating arrangement. The MidCity buses are specially intended for the regional transport and configured with 21+1 seats.