News > News Library > World premiere: VDL Bus & Coach builds first electric articulated buses for KVB Cologne

World premiere: VDL Bus & Coach builds first electric articulated buses for KVB Cologne

The signing of a contract between passenger transport company KVB (Kölner Verkehrs-Betriebe) and VDL Bus & Coach on Friday, 11 July 2014, was the starting shot for the construction of eight electric articulated VDL buses. Unique to these electric articulated buses is the fact that they operate without overhead electric cables. KVB is one of the first companies in Germany to introduce electric mobility for an entire bus route. VDL Bus & Coach is particularly proud to have received the order to develop and produce a new bus version that meets all of KVB's requirements. The jumping-off points are the VDL Citea SLFA, an articulated bus with a length of 18 metres, and the Citea Electric, which offers the most ideal solution for every deployment. In total, eight electric articulated buses will be built with an updated, futuristic BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) design. The test phases for the first electric articulated buses will begin in the summer and autumn of 2015. The VDL Citea SLFA Electric with its futuristic appearance will be a striking presence in the Cologne cityscape.



Public transport in Cologne

Electric mobility is an important development in public transport. Metropolitan electric bus transport contributes to a cleaner environment, lower energy consumption and a quieter and healthier environment. KVB sees plenty of opportunities for the future of electric mobility and mainly focuses on zero emission public transport with a large passenger capacity.
The VDL Citea SLFA Electric is an electric articulated bus that runs entirely on electricity without any aids. This means that unlike hybrid buses it requires no diesel engine and unlike trolleys it needs no pantograph to continuously supply it with power. The VDL Citea SLFA Electric admittedly has a pantograph, but it is only used for a brief charge at the end of each run. When the bus makes contact with the charging station at the final stop, the battery charge level is first measured and then the required charge is added, quickly yet intensely. The batteries are fully charged every night.

VDL Citea SLFA Electric
The new, innovative VDL Citea SLFA Electric combines the best features of the Citea Electric and the articulated Citea SLFA. The modular system from which the Citea range is built will play a major role in the development of this electric variant. This will allow easy integration of the electric components without compromising the essential Citea qualities, such as lightweight construction, optimum accessibility and comfort. An aspect that is beneficial to both comfort and the environment is the fact that the VDL Citea Electric is very quiet, both inside and outside the bus.
The VDL Citea articulated, with its completely flat floor, is ideal for the transport of large numbers of passengers. The low floor construction makes it exceptionally easy to enter the bus and offers optimal access, for travellers with a baby buggy or wheelchair for example. This applies both to the front section of the bus and the section ‘behind the bellows’. During the design of the Citea SLFA considerable attention was given to the flow of passengers from the entry door and to the exit doors. Harmoniously matched colours give the bus a very spacious feeling. The cantilever seat design (free-hanging seats) ensures plenty of leg room and therefore optimal sitting comfort. Since the entire floor is free of obstacles, the buses are easy to clean.

BRT design
The new, special ‘BRT’ design gives the Citea SLFA Electric a futuristic look and feel. This manifests itself, in particular, in the rearward leaning windscreen and the characteristic roof line. Destination signs are integrated into the windscreen, rear window and side windows. The entry door is extra wide to facilitate entry and egress and promote passenger flow here too. The wheel covers on the 2nd and 3rd axles complete the attractive appearance of this new Citea variant

KVB
Kölner Verkehrs-Betriebe AG (KVB) is one of the largest passenger transport companies in Germany and responsible for public transport in Cologne and surrounding areas. The fleet consists of 367 trains and trams and more than 300 buses. Some 3,000 employees ensure that everything functions on the nearly 60 bus and rail lines every day. More than 850,000 passengers are transported daily.

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 and the purchase and sales of second-hand buses. Manufacturing takes place in the Netherlands and Belgium. VDL Bus & Coach places high value on quality, safety, durability, the environment, low fuel consumption, comfort and low maintenance costs. Sales of VDL Bus & Coach products take place through a worldwide network consisting of corporate-owned sales offices, importers and agents in more than 30 countries. This makes it possible to offer custom-made transport solutions. For after-sales and maintenance, the client can count on rapid, hassle-free assistance from VDL Bus & Coach employees in any of the many service locations. An extensive distribution network ensures that spare parts and accessories are delivered to the requested destination as quickly as possible. VDL Bus & Coach is one of the largest bus producers in Europe.

VDL Groep
VDL Bus & Coach is part of VDL Groep. VDL Groep, with its head office in Eindhoven (The Netherlands), is an international industrial company focused on the development, production and sales of semi-finished products, buses & coaches and other finished products and the assembly of cars. Since the founding in 1953 this family-owned company has grown to include 84 operating companies, spread over 19 countries with almost 9,500 employees. The strength of VDL Groep lies in the mutual cooperation between the companies.
 

Valkenswaard, July 2014


VDL Bus & Coach bv
Marleen van Zeeland
Communications
+31 (0)40 208 44 14
m.van.zeeland@vdlbuscoach.com

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