In barely a year and a half, the number of electrically driven kilometers of VDL Citeas in Europe has doubled
In just a year and a half, the number of electrically driven kilometers of VDL Citeas in Europe has doubled. In February last year the counter was still at 100 million, this month the limit of 200 million electric kilometers was passed. “A milestone of which we are very proud”, says Paul van Vuuren, CEO of VDL Bus & Coach.
After the introduction of the first Citea SLF-120 Electric in 2013, VDL Bus & Coach has acquired a leading position in the European market for electric public transport over the past decade. In February 2020, the marking of 50 million electric kilometers was celebrated, in mid-September 2020 the counter stood at 75 million, followed by 100 million in February 2021. The 1,300 electric VDL Citeas currently cover more than 240,000 kilometers daily in 11 European countries. and 77 cities and regions. The 200 million kilometers traveled on electric lines represent a saving of almost 28 million kilos of CO2 emissions.
Leading in Europe
“In a period of ten years, we have always succeeded in finding solutions for the requirements, needs and wishes of the European market in the further development of our VDL Citeas,” says Paul van Vuuren, CEO of VDL Bus & Coach. VDL demonstrates this once again with the introduction of the new generation Citea.
“We have developed a versatile mobility platform that matches the sustainability ambitions of our customers. This keeps us at the forefront of the public transport market, where our experience makes us a leader in Europe. The trend in the market for fast-growing electric public transport is continuing – also during the corona crisis – which is visible in a declining demand for diesel vehicles. We have proven to be a strong, reliable and experienced partner over the past decade. That is why contracting authorities and public transport companies continue to invest in our electric buses. We are very proud of that. We will continue to work on continuous improvements to build on this status in the future.”
The Netherlands at the forefront
The Netherlands has the most electric VDL vehicles and therefore also covers the most electric kilometers: almost 165 million. There are about 650 electric buses in 35 cities. This makes the electric Citeas an indispensable part of the current street scene throughout the Netherlands. They are active in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Maastricht and Eindhoven, among others. VDL also plays an important role in the electrification of an increasing number of concession areas, with deployment in smaller cities and regional transport.
The Netherlands is a frontrunner in the electrification of public transport. This is an initiative of the Zero Emission Bus Administrative Agreement, as signed by the joint concession holders in March 2016. Inspired by the Paris Climate Agreement, this administrative agreement stipulates that all new buses running on public transport in the Netherlands must be emission-free by 2025. at the latest.
Germany on the rise
When it comes to the number of kilometers driven electrically, VDL Bus & Coach is making rapid progress in Germany. In February 2021, 88 buses in 6 cities covered 4.5 million electric kilometers. In the summer of 2022, those numbers will rise sharply: more than 12 million kilometers have been covered by 358 electric Citeas driving in 15 cities.
Scandinavia also remains one of the most important markets for VDL Bus & Coach. In Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark, 250 VDL Citeas have covered about 25 million electric kilometers. Alex de Jong, Business Manager Public Transport VDL Bus & Coach: “For the future, we are also looking specifically at the major growth markets in Europe. For VDL Bus & Coach, this mainly concerns France and Italy, where we have already achieved our first successes in the field of public transport assignments. Our goal is to build a stable market position in these countries.”
New generation VDL Citea
In 2021, VDL Bus & Coach presented the new generation of electric Citeas. Based on the VDL vision and based on experience with the current VDL Citea fleet, a bus concept has been developed that is entirely based on an electric powertrain, ready for the future and in which zero emissions are a given. Batteries in the floor, a one-piece composite sidewall, smart energy management, a sophisticated climate control system and an ergonomic driver environment. With these five important innovations, VDL Bus & Coach is introducing the new generation Citea product range, consisting of four length variants and five types. The range of the new generation Citeas has been considerably improved.
In June, VDL Bus & Coach won the EBUS Award for the new Citea generation. This important German environmental prize for the public transport sector is awarded every two years to companies that make a substantial contribution to the development of electric public transport in Germany. VDL was victorious for the second time in a row, having previously won the prize in 2019. The ceremony was canceled in 2021 due to the corona virus.
VDL Bus & Coach already received two important awards for the design of the new Citea generation this spring: a Red Dot Award and the iF Design Award. The attractive design should convince even more people to opt for public transport. The new generation of Citeas has already been sold in several countries and will be deployed from this year in a number of cities and areas: the Netherlands (Amsterdam and Eindhoven), Finland (Kotka and Lahti), Belgium (all of Flanders), Germany (Oberhausen and Braunschweig) and France (Bordeaux).