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. 

Batteries in the floor, a one-piece composite side wall, clever energy management, a sophisticated climate control system and an ergonomic driver's environment. With these five important innovations, VDL Bus & Coach introduces the new generation of Citeas product range, consisting of 4 length variants and 5 types.

the making of


"The development of the new generation Citeas gave us the opportunity to integrate the latest high-tech technologies in the most efficient way possible," explains Alex de Jong, Business Manager Public Transport of VDL Bus & Coach. "We started completely from scratch, focusing on zero emissions. We took the ideal layout of the vehicle as a starting point. An optimal seat layout and passenger flow, combined with optimal weight distribution, were essential to the development. We also decided at that stage to integrate the standard batteries into the floor. The objective of this is to reduce the centre of gravity and optimise the weight distribution and allocation of all necessary components."


The new Citea product range consists of 4 length variants and 5 types in Low Entry and/or Low Floor execution: LF-122 and LE-122, LE-135, LE-149 and LF-181. All types are extremely suitable for both city and regional transport, with the exception of the 18.1-metre Low Floor, which comes into its own as a city bus. The 13.5-metre variant is an efficient vehicle on 2 axles that can compete with a 3-axle vehicle in terms of seating capacity. Not having the third axle means a lower purchase price, minimal repair and maintenance costs and more favourable energy consumption.


One of the most important principles in the development of the new generation of Citeas is about increasing the minimum number of passengers. An efficient vehicle layout, low unladen weight, optimum weight distribution and the length of the bus are the results. The accessibility of the bus has improved. At the same time, more people can ride along: up to a maximum of 110 people in a 12.2-metre vehicle. Each type of Citea from VDL Bus & Coach has room for at least 45 seated passengers.


The range of the new generation of Citeas has been considerably improved: all vehicles cover a distance of 500 to 600 kilometres. Even during a harsh winter, the Citeas can still drive 250 kilometres 100% electrically. VDL Bus & Coach responds to the standards required in urban and regional transport today: in metropolitan areas, the Citeas can handle 24-hour operation, while on regional lines, which are increasingly being electrified, distances of up to 70 kilometres are no longer an exception.


In the new generation of Citeas, we transport our passengers to school, work or to see their friends. Every day we get tens of thousands of people moving. Our interior philosophy is based on the principles of a modern public waiting room, where the audience is made up of people with different destinations, cultures and backgrounds. We attach great importance to accessibility, hygiene, safety, vandalism resistance and attractive design. For VDL Bus & Coach, speaking an attractive design language is an important asset in getting more people to opt for public transport.


The VDL design philosophy makes the journey even more pleasant for both driver and passengers. Because the side wall is made of one piece, there are no gaps or holes. Due to the high-tech aerodynamic design, the wind causes less turbulence. Furthermore, the curves at the front, various spoilers and the sharp angles at the rear have led to a significant reduction in air resistance. The traveller will experience more comfort and less noise in the new generation of Citeas. The improved aerodynamics of the vehicle were intensively tested in the wind tunnel, with simulations and on the road.


Green light when the doors open and it’s safe to get out. Red light that flashes when the door closes and the new Citea departs. Indirect lighting under the seats so that passengers can reach the seats and luggage racks safely even when it’s dark at night. Light has a great influence on the travel experience and is therefore an essential part of the design philosophy. By using colours and intensities, the lighting can be easily adjusted to the situation and atmosphere. If, for example, an unsafe situation arises, the driver can adjust the lighting so that it has a de-escalating effect.


The one-piece composite side wall, cantilever furniture, rounded forms and the choice of mostly smooth materials mean that the new generation of Citeas is better and easier to keep clean. Sand, dust and other dirt accumulate less easily. In this age of COVID-19, hygiene is, more than ever, an essential part of design. A number of interior parts in the Citea, such as the vertical and horizontal grab rails and the passenger seats, can be provided with an antibacterial coating. Special filters, in combination with good monitoring, ensure optimal air quality in the bus.