TPER and VDL Bus & Coach start long-term collaboration with 7 electric VDL Citeas for Bologna
TPER, one of Italy’s largest public transport companies, has taken its first step in the electric transformation of Bologna’s public transport system with the purchase of 7 VDL Citeas. This marks the start of a long-term partnership between TPER and VDL Bus & Coach, which could see the introduction of 20 electric city buses.
The delivery of 7 SLF-120 Electric Citeas to TPER in Bologna is VDL Bus & Coach’s second e-mobility project in Italy; in May last year, it provided two electric Citeas to shuttle between the car parks and terminals of Milan Malpensa Airport. “Cities in Italy are increasingly making the transition to sustainable public transport”, says Massimiliano Costantini, Managing Director of VDL Bus & Coach Italia. “We are proud that TPER has called on our expertise as a frontrunner in e-mobility in Europe. Our electric buses have covered more than 125 million kilometres, which is a clear indicator of our competence. This order strengthens our foothold in the market, which speaks to our ambition to play a major role in Italy’s transition to zero-emission public transport.”
The VDL Citeas will hit the streets of Bologna in 2022. As the capital of Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, Bologna is in the top ten largest cities in Italy with almost 400,000 inhabitants. The new VDL Citeas will run on Bologna’s bus lines 28 and T1. This is a pivotal project for VDL Bus & Coach, which is responsible for the delivery of the vehicles and the implementation of the charging infrastructure. The SLF-120 Electric Citeas have a 350-kWh battery pack and 31+2 seats, with further capacity for 49 standing passengers. The TPER depot will contain chargers so that 3 buses can be charged simultaneously. VDL Bus & Coach is collaborating with the Heliox, from Best in The Netherlands, on the charging equipment.
Andrea Bottazzi, Manager of Automotive Maintenance and Logistics of TPER, says: “We have great ambitions to make public transport more sustainable and acquire zero-emission vehicles. We have past experience with electric mini-buses which had a battery range of up to 100 kilometres, but this is our maiden voyage with electric buses. We were looking for a reliable, experienced partner, particularly in the field of charging infrastructure, and as such we are delighted that VDL Bus & Coach won the tender. We look forward to the cooperation and the arrival of the buses in Bologna.”
The public transport company TPER (Emilia-Romagna Passenger Transport) was founded on 1 February 2012 following the merger of ATC, a road transport company based in Bologna and Ferrara, and FER, a regional railway company. It is now a major passenger transport operator in Italy with over 2500 employees. The company’s public transport services cover over 50 million kilometres annually: 44.2 million kilometres by road and almost 6 million kilometres by rail.
New generation Citea
With its 25-year experience in electric transport, VDL Bus & Coach is a top player in e-mobility in Europe. Since the unveiling of the first SLF-120 Electric Citea in Geneva at the UITP Mobility & City Transport exhibition in 2013, VDL Bus & Coach has stepped up its focus on electric mobility.
By 2020, VDL Bus & Coach had established its name as a leading transition partner on the road to zero-emission public transport. With more than 900 buses delivered throughout 11 countries between 2015 and 2021, VDL Bus & Coach boasts a 20% market share in Europe. The milestone of 100 million kilometres travelled by its electric vehicles, reached in February of this year, represents a saving of more than 14.7 million kilograms of CO2 emissions.
In 2021 VDL Bus & Coach unveiled the new generation of electric Citeas representative of the VDL vision: a bus concept based on that of an electric drive train, future-focused and completely zero-emission. VDL Bus & Coach have introduced features such as an innovative composite side wall construction that is 15% lighter than a conventional side wall and a floor-level integrated battery pack as standard.
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