DEFROSTING AND DOUBLE GLAZING
The use of double glazing, which is standard in the new generation of Citeas, has reduced energy consumption by 10%. With the introduction of standard double glazing, insulation has greatly improved, so less cold is radiated from the inside of the windows, noise from outside is muted and less condensation occurs. This results in considerably more comfort for the passenger. The defrosting system ensures that ice or snow on the windows is quickly thawed, so there is no obstruction for the driver or passenger.
THERMAL ZONE FOR THE DRIVER
The driver's cabin in the Citea can be transformed into the ideal workplace for any driver who spends an average of 2 to 3 hours in the same city bus during a shift. So it also has to be comfortable in terms of temperature. In the new generation of Citeas, the driver can create his own thermal zone by means of an additional cab heater, which supplies warm air around the legs and torso. This allows the driver to set his or her own comfortable temperature from 17 to 27 degrees. The result is a conditioned climate zone where draughts from, for example, opening doors and passenger flows are barely felt.
DIFFERENT TEMPERATURE ZONES
In order to be able to set different climate zones in the new generation of Citeas, VDL Bus & Coach has developed its own heat pump system. It transports the hot water to where it’s needed. 60% of the heat comes from the floor. The heat pump can cool and heat the entire passenger compartment and batteries with zero emissions and high efficiency, even when there are extreme temperatures outside. With this highly flexible climate system, it is possible, for example, to make the rear of the bus slightly less warm than the front.
THE IDEAL TEMPERATURE
VDL Bus & Coach has done research into the ideal temperature inside the bus. Over a thousand passengers in Europe were interviewed on this subject. Gender, age and ethnicity affect the outcomes. For example, men and young people feel hotter in the bus more often and more quickly than women and older people. The outside temperature also plays a major role, as does the time it takes to get warm again inside the bus. Because there is no such thing as an ideal temperature for all passengers, the new Citea has different climate zones which contribute to reduced energy consumption while optimising comfort.
MORE CONVENIENCE FOR MECHANIC
The new generation of Citeas not only delivers many ergonomic improvements for passengers and the driver but also for the work done by the mechanic. The vehicle is easier to maintain, diagnose and repair. Various service components, such as filters and filling points, have been relocated and are easily accessible. Integration in the area of connectivity makes diagnosis even more efficient. What’s more, the mechanic can easily lower the battery pack out of the floor, and each battery module can be replaced separately.
NO OBSTACLES FOR PASSENGERS
In the new generation of Citeas from VDL Bus & Coach, the balance between sitting and standing is essential, with the number of obstacles kept to a minimum. This ensures an optimal flow of passengers and makes it easier to get in and out. The wide entry door is ideal for passengers with reduced mobility. The number of seats is high and the seats are easily accessible without illogical steps. The feeling of comfort is further enhanced by the presence of an optional private armrest and headrest, a built-in USB connection and luggage racks.
DRIVER: OPTIMAL COMFORT
In the new generation of Citeas, not only has the driver's seating position been greatly improved but also the steering column with a larger adjustment range and lower steering forces for optimal comfort, based on the modern technology used in the automotive industry. For the driver, there are flexible and extensive adjustment possibilities and sufficient storage space. Based on research results, much time and energy has been spent on improving vehicle-driver interaction and safety systems. Future developments in payment systems and autonomous driving were also anticipated.
A satisfied driver is one of our most important ambassadors. Across Europe, our researchers interviewed dozens of drivers to identify their needs: what is important to them, what is missing, what needs to be changed and what is going well. VDL Bus & Coach also cooperated with public transport industry associations and universities. Based on the results, the design of an optimal driver's cabin in the new generation of Citeas has been given high priority. After all, it’s his or her workplace all day long. Consequently, no concessions have been made in terms of ergonomics, ease of operation, comfort and safety.
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.
DESIGN OF THE LIGHT
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.
AERODYNAMICS: LESS NOISE
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.
ATTRACTIVE AND MODERN DESIGN
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.
Testing in climate regions
In order to achieve a higher range, battery capacity testing is essential. VDL Bus & Coach subjected the new generation of Citeas to extensive tests in different climate regions. Not only in winter conditions but also at high temperatures in Southern Europe. In winter, energy consumption is reduced by an average of 30%. Throughout the year, customers can count on an average of 20-25% less energy consumption and 20% more action radius.
Range of up to 600 kilometres
The range of the new generation of Citeas has been considerably improved: all vehicles cover a distance of 500 to 600 kilometres. Even in bad weather conditions (-15 degrees Celsius), 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.
Trend: electric regional transport
With the new generation of Citeas, VDL Bus & Coach is responding to a clear trend: more and more regionally operating transport companies prefer electric transport. This is an unstoppable development. Regional transport requires both range and passenger capacity, while passenger comfort must remain optimal at all times. The Citeas offer a large radius of action, even in adverse weather conditions.
4 length variants, 5 types
The new Citea product range consists of four length variants and five types: 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.
A novelty in the new generation of Citeas is the composite sidewall, which is constructed in one piece and developed by VDL Bus & Coach itself. This causes less vibration and filters the noise coming from outside. In addition, it leads to less energy consumption. The innovative composite sidewall construction is 15% lighter than a conventional sidewall. Furthermore, the introduction of this composite sidewall has greatly improved the insulation of the bus, which in turn has significantly reduced the consumption of the climate system. There are no longer any cold bridges in the sidewall either. The result is more comfort for travellers.
Batteries in the floor
The standard battery package of the new generation of Citeas is integrated into the floor. The absence of batteries in the passenger compartment ensures optimum passenger flow and maximises the number of seats. By placing the batteries in the floor, the centre of gravity of the bus is lower, making roadholding more stable. Driver comfort has also been significantly improved.
110 passengers in 12.2 metres
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 new generation of Citeas is based entirely on an electric powertrain. When developing this kind of e-vehicle, you are no longer tied to the fixed locations of components that you previously had to take into account, such as the position of the combustion engine. As a result, VDL Bus & Coach has been able to determine the technical design entirely on its own and to distribute the weight of the components as optimally as possible by, for example, laying the batteries in the floor, integrating the motors into the wheels and positioning the axles and doors in the most favourable location.