Contributing to a liveable city and making public transport sustainable: 'Zero compromise' becomes the new standard for VDL Bus & Coach

The introduction of the new generation of Citeas is VDL Bus & Coach's answer to the challenges of tomorrow's public transport. Whereas in recent years 'Aiming for Zero' was the ambition, zero emissions is now the norm for the liveable city. This requires new technologies and a different way of thinking. VDL's new Citea bus concept offers solutions without compromise. 

"In today's world, mobility is constantly evolving," explains Marcel Jacobs, Commercial Director of VDL Bus & Coach. "It is now widely accepted that electric public transport is the new standard, with huge benefits for cities, people and the environment. The new generation of Citeas helps customers of VDL Bus & Coach to operate their vehicles in the most cost-effective manner. In a reliable and efficient way, without concessions or compromises to the vehicle and its capabilities. The same applies to the operation of emission-free buses in the future." 

Zero Compromise
VDL Bus & Coach is shifting its claim from 'Aiming for Zero' to 'Zero Compromise', with 'zero' taking on a double dimension. Jacobs explains: "It is a reference both to zero emissions and to the fact that, with the new generation of Citeas, we don’t have to make any compromises or concessions in achieving the zero emissions targets, together with all stakeholders involved in this process." 

Major improvements
The new generation of Citeas has an all-electric drive train. The battery packs are integrated into the floor, creating more passenger space and lowering the bus's centre of gravity, resulting in more stable road handling. For this new generation of electric city buses, VDL Bus & Coach has developed a composite sidewall that consists of a single piece. This causes less vibration, reduces noise pollution and has a good insulation value, which ultimately contributes to passenger comfort. 

Alex de Jong, Business Manager Public Transport: "In the past decade, we have become the frontrunner in Europe in the field of e-mobility, with more than 100 million electric kilometres of experience. While others were still talking about it, we started working on the first electric Citea in 2013. As a transition partner, pioneering has given us a lot of knowledge and expertise: from implementing charging infrastructure to organising training courses. We have used all this knowledge in recent years to develop our new bus concept. As a result, we have also made significant improvements in terms of sustainability, efficiency and safety." 

Launch of the new Citeas
VDL Bus & Coach announced at the end of last year that the new Citeas would be on display for the first time during Busworld 2021. However, Europe's largest bus trade fair, which was to be held in Brussels Expo in October, will not take place. The organisation announced this at the end of March. 

"Busworld would, of course, have been the ideal opportunity to show the new bus concept to the world," says Jacobs. "However, due to the size of the event and the lengthy preparations required for such an event, the only correct decision was to cancel it. Because the launch of the new Citea concept is too important, we now want to organise our own launch event. In order to increase the chances of organising a physical event, which I think we would all prefer, we want to hold this event this autumn. Hopefully, we will be able to welcome press, customers and staff in November. Further details will follow as soon as we have more information on this."   

Product range
During its own launch event VDL Bus & Coach will show two types of vehicles: the LF-122 and LF-181 (both Low Floor). The new Citea product range further includes the LE-122, LE-135 and LE-149 (all Low Entry). All types are ideally suited for both city and regional transport, with the exception of the 18.1-metre low floor, which is best suited as a city bus. The 13.5-metre low entry variant is an efficient 2-axle vehicle that can compete with a 3-axle vehicle in terms of seating capacity. 

The new Citea range meets every existing market demand: each model offers a solution without compromise when it comes to sustainability, technology, passenger comfort and capacity, ergonomics, range, flexibility, safety and Total Cost of Ownership. This means more flexibility and efficiency thanks to the extensive range that meets the requirements of every customer.

May 27, 2021