Major boost for green public transport in Finland: 25 new generation VDL Citeas for the port city of Kotka
The Finnish bus company Oy Pohjolan Liikenne Ab and VDL Bus & Coach sign on a further boost to green public transport in Finland, with 25 new generation VDL Citeas, based on electric drive trains and with state-of-the-art features, to join the fleet in the port city of Kotka. They will also serve as regional transport to the neighbouring town of Hamina.
This is the first large series of new generation Citeas that VDL Bus & Coach has sold abroad, in addition to one new generation VDL Citea also ordered by Lahti, Finland. This order will follow that of Dutch public transport company Hermes, which will deploy 32 new generation LF-122 type VDL Citeas in the first quarter of next year in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Production of Kotka’s new buses will begin in late 2022 and will be delivered in 2023.
Fast track to electric transport
With the addition of these 25 Citeas, Pohjolan Liikenne expands its VDL fleet to almost 200 vehicles. Sami Ojamo, Managing Director of VDL Bus & Coach Finland, said: “The transition to electric and sustainable public transport in Finland continues at an exponential pace. Our long-standing, valued customer is a great example of this trend. Early in 2019, they ordered their first five electric Citeas from VDL Bus & Coach. Now, they have purchased from our latest generation of city buses. The addition to their fleet substantiates their position as a frontrunner in e-mobility in Finland. We look forward to seeing the new generation of Citeas in Kotka and operating in the Nordic market.”
The port city of Kotka is located in southern Finland, about 130 kilometres from the capital Helsinki. The 25 new generation Citeas will be used in city traffic and on regional services to Hamina, which lies 20 kilometres to the east. At present, this line mainly operates using LLE Diesel Citeas, but this route will soon be covered by emission-free, LE-122 type VDL Citeas of the new generation. With its 490kWh battery pack and 39+4+1 seats, the 12.2-metre Low Entry is well suited to both city and regional transport.
Heikki Alanko, Managing Director of Oy Pohjolan Liikenne Ab, said: “We strive to be the leading operator in the transition to zero emission public transport in Finland. These new state-of-the-art, long-range VDL buses will make it possible for us to operate more efficiently than ever before. We are delighted with the new generation VDL Citeas; their core innovative characteristics will allow us to enhance passengers’ travel experience and provide the best possible working environment to our drivers.”
The new generation Citea
The new generation VDL Citea is VDL Bus & Coach’s answer to tomorrow’s public transport challenges. Where ‘Aiming for Zero’ has been the ambition in recent years, zero emission is now the norm for a liveable city. This requires new technologies and a different way of thinking, which VDL’s new Citea bus concept provides.
Floor-level batteries, a one-part composite side wall, smart energy management, a sophisticated climate system and an ergonomic driving environment. These five important innovations are intrinsic to VDL Bus & Coach’s new generation Citea product range, which comprises four length variants and five types. The range of new Citeas boasts a further, significant improvement: all vehicles have a range of 500 to 600 kilometres during their period of use.
The new generation of Citeas is entirely based on an electric drive train. A great deal of data was consulted during development; information from more than 100 million electric kilometres was used to gain factual insights. In addition, VDL Bus & Coach has been conducting market research since 2015 to gain a better understanding of the future of mobility. Various important European stakeholders have been interviewed.
Pohjolan Liikenne is one of the largest bus companies in Finland. With a fleet of 500 buses and coaches, it provides local and regional transport services, particularly in southern Finland. Its annual turnover is EUR 110 million and its workforce consists of 1200 professionals. Pohjolan Liikenne’s buses and coaches transport more than 30 million passengers a year, covering a total of 33 million kilometres. Pohjolan Liikenne is a subsidiary of VR, the Finnish national railway company.