News > News Library > Pilot with VDL Citea Electric in the Dutch city of Maastricht

Pilot with VDL Citea Electric in the Dutch city of Maastricht

In the Dutch city of Maastricht a pilot with a VDL Citea Electric begins 13 March 2015 on line 4 (Villapark, Maastricht to Academic Hospital Maastricht). This pilot is part of the Zero Emission Bus transport (ZEB) foundation's nationwide initiative to accelerate the transition to affordable, clean, quiet public transport. Participants in this project are the Province of Limburg, the Municipality of Maastricht, transport operator Veolia Transport Limburg and the Zero Emission Bus transport foundation. The test is intended as a prelude to a conversion of all existing diesel and natural gas buses to electric powered buses.
 
“The advantages of electric powered buses are clear,” says Province of Limburg Executive Committee member Patrick van der Broeck, whose dossier includes public transport. “The local emission of harmful substances is zero, no fossil fuels are used and the buses produce almost no noise – benefits which are certainly of great importance in the city centre.”


The VDL Citea Electric with in front the pupils from the Binnenstad primary school together with, from left to right, Mr. Ben Dwars Concession Director for Veolia Transport Limburg, Mr. Gerdo van Grootheest Municipality of Maastricht Municipal Executive Member, Mr. Patrick van der Broeck Province of Limburg Executive Council Member.

Field test
Maastricht is one of the first Dutch cities in which an extensive field test with a fully electric 12-metre bus is being conducted as part of the regular scheduled service. Veolia has previously run brief tests with electric buses from various suppliers in Maastricht, but in this case it is a long-term trial lasting at least half a year. This bus will therefore also serve as a precursor to the definitive introduction of electric buses in Limburg.
To finance the project a successful application was made to the Elena fund, managed by the European Investment Bank. An electrically powered bus is currently about twice as expensive as a bus with a diesel engine.
The pilot in Maastricht is primarily meant to provide practical experience with the use of electric buses. Both the technical reliability and costs per kilometre will be examined closely. Driver, passenger and mechanics' experiences will be included in the final assessment.


On the left Mr. Ben Dwars Concession Director for Veolia Transport Limburg and on the right Mr. Patrick van der Broeck Province of Limburg Executive Council Member.

New infrastructure for charging power
The VDL Citea Electric is the first bus in the Netherlands that will be charged using the standardized Combined Charging System protocol. This charging procedure was developed by the German and American passenger car industries and is now also being used for heavy duty buses. A big advantage is that, thanks to a standardized infrastructure, various parties will be able to use the same charging system, making operation more economically attractive. This method is of great importance to scaling-up the use of electric vehicles.

Switchover
With proven success, ever more zero-emission buses are being used. ZEB is committed to a switchover by 2025 of all 5,100 diesel and natural gas buses in the Netherlands to buses with electric motors. The biggest bottlenecks at the moment are the cost and weight of the battery. But the battery is expected to become lighter and cheaper in the coming years. The electric bus made its debut in Maastricht on 13 March. Province of Limburg Executive Council Member Patrick van der Broeck, Municipality of Maastricht Municipal Executive Member Gerdo van Grootheest, Concession Director for Veolia Transport Limburg Ben Dwars and Marijke van Haaren of the Zero Emission Bus transport foundation were joined by pupils from the Binnenstad primary school aboard the bus for the first journey, destined for Maastricht Markt. The bus will be deployed on line 4 which runs between Academic Hospital Maastricht and Villapark, Maastricht.





VDL Citea Electric
The VDL Citea Electric is a fully electric Citea SLF Low Floor with a length of 12 metres. The ability to choose from various electric drives and battery packages ensures that the most ideal and optimal combination can be selected for every deployment area, without consequences for accessibility, interior layout or comfort. The Citea Electric is unique in that it can be adapted to provide the optimum configuration for any operator based on their complete package of operational requirements and wishes.

Valkenswaard, March 2015


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

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