The Dutch province of Limburg plans to completely electrify its public transport system by 2026. For intercity transport, 55 VDL Citeas LLE-115 Electric will go into operation on 30 June.
VDL Bus & Coach is working on zero-emission bus transport with transport company Arriva. 20 electric buses each will be used in Maastricht and Sittard, 10 in Venlo-Venray and 5 more in Heerlen. Arriva is the first public transport company in the Netherlands to operate electric buses for regional transport on a wider scale.
Arriva has been operating VDL’s first 9.9 metre long electric buses for city transport in Venlo since 2016. The new order concerns the recently introduced 11.5-metre variant. Anne Hettinga, chair of the board of directors of Arriva Netherlands, said, “As Arriva Netherlands, we are now taking this step towards electric transport in the region. It is unique in that quiet, clean, comfortable transport is no longer only available for the traveller in the city. Due to the longer distances travelled, comfort is extra important for the regional traveller. In addition to the emphasis on action radius, we also asked for a low entry bus in which many passengers can travel seated in the direction of travel. The low entry and raised rear floor result in a flexible layout of the bus seating arrangement.”
There are 42 seats in the direction of travel, 65 passengers in total. The range per day should be over 400 kilometres if the 180 kWh batteries are quickly charged at the terminal stops. “For us, this is the largest order in regional transport to date,” says Ard Romers, Director VDL Bus & Coach Nederland. “This is something very special because the Citeas travel 100,000 kilometres per bus per year.