New e-mobility project in Germany: VDL Bus & Coach to supply 36 Citeas SLFA-187 Electric to Kiel

The fifth e-mobility project from VDL Bus & Coach in Germany will be undertaken in the Northern German city of Kiel. Today, 8 October, the contract was signed to supply 36 Citeas SLFA-187 Electric. For the first time, VDL will be delivering a 3-axle version of the 18.7 metre-long articulated Citea to a transport operator. 

Boris Höltermann, Managing Director of VDL Bus & Coach Germany explained, “There are already hybrid buses operating in Kiel. The switch to electric buses demonstrates a considerable degree of daring and vision on the part of Kiel’s municipal authorities. In Germany, government is taking an ever growing number of initiatives in the field of sustainable mobility. We are happy to contribute our knowledge and years of e-mobility experience in Europe to make this project a success. With the first delivery, planned in August 2020, we will be joining forces with Kiel to underpin our target of ‘Aiming for zero’.” 

Charging at the terminus
In Kiel, electric buses will travel on 5 lines in the city. They will not be recharged at the depot at night, but exclusively at the terminus of each line. At the end of the day, when they reach their final stop, the buses will be almost 100% recharged. In the morning, a few minutes before the start of the first service, the buses will receive a top-up charge, so they will start their first run fully recharged. Within this project, VDL will be cooperating with Schaltbau Refurbishment, who will supply the 450 kW charging devices. 

Höltermann continued, “By opting for the 18.7 metre-long variant, we are able to provide seating for an additional four passengers. And that means greater passenger comfort. In addition, these buses will be fully electrically climate controlled.” The articulated VDL Citea, with its totally level floor, is ideal for transporting large numbers of passengers. The low-floor construction guarantees an extra easy step-up and offers optimum entry, for example for passengers with a pram or wheelchair. This easy access applies throughout the vehicle, both in the front section and the rear section behind the articulation point. In equipping the Citea SLFA, much attention was focused on the flow of passengers from and to the entry and exit doors. 

Towards 50 million electric kilometres
The electric buses from VDL Bus & Coach are well on their way to achieving the 50 million electric kilometre mark. Almost 500 buses in 11 countries travel on average 75,000 kilometres every day. In comparison with conventional diesel buses, this represents a CO2 reduction of 70 tonnes per day, which in turn means improved air quality. Electric buses also mean a major noise reduction, resulting in a quieter and healthier living environment. 

For VDL Bus & Coach, Kiel will be the fifth full e-mobility project in Germany. The first project, carried out in April 2015, involved the delivery of 5 Citeas SLF-120 Electric to Münster. Electric VDL buses are now also in operation in Osnabrück, Cologne, Oberhausen and Bottrop. 

With 36 regular lines and 5 night bus lines, KVG Kieler Verkehrsgesellschaft mbH operates more than 770 stops in the city of Kiel and the surrounding municipalities, 24 hours a day. In 2017, the company carried more than 33 million passengers a total of over 9.8 million kilometres. With a staff of almost 650 - of whom around 500 are bus drivers - KVG is a major employer in the city of Kiel. Andreas Schulz, director of KVG: “The experience of VDL Bus & Coach in the use of fully electric articulated buses will help us to implement the e-mobility concept in Kiel. We really look forward to the upcoming collaboration.”

October 8, 2019