Finland: 31 VDL electric buses for Lahti and Kuopio
VDL Bus & Coach received an order over 31 electric buses from two towns in Finland. Lahti wants to add 18 e-buses to the service while 13 electric buses will go to Kuopio, a city in the interior of Finland. VDL considers the order to show that “electric buses are also a viable option in medium-sized cities”.
The bus operators in both cities – Kuopion Liikenne Oy and Koiviston Auto Oy – belong to the Koiviston Auto Group, the largest public transit company in Finland. With the 31 buses that have now been ordered, the total number of Citea LLE delivered by VDL to Koiviston Auto Group reaches over 200. The family-owned company is based in Lahti, which is about a hundred kilometres north of the capital Helsinki. Antti Unkuri, the CEO Koiviston Auto Group, stressed: “We are both family businesses, relying on the same standards and values. Especially in these early stages of e-mobility in public transport, the support of VDL is valuable to us.”
The Citea buses for Lahti and Kuopio are equipped with the 35+4 seat configuration and offer space for a wheelchair or two baby carriages. The battery pack holds 282 kWh and allows for charging with CCS2 socket in Kuopio and a roof-mounted pantograph in Lahti.
The low temperatures in winter which can drop below 30 degrees or even colder in Finland, “place high demands on the vehicles,” VDL emphasises in the announcement.
At the same time, Managing Director Sami Ojamo from VDL Bus & Coach Finland, also says they we seeing “a rapid transition to electric and sustainable public transport” in the country and that the order was a reflection of this. “This step means that we can strengthen our position as one of the leading suppliers in Finland even further,” he said.
Meanwhile, Finland also has other electric bus manufacturers. BYD, for example, recently received a major order when Operator Nobina ordered a total of 106 electric buses. 64 are destined for service in the capital Helsinki and 42 for the city of Turku, including a new model from the Chinese manufacturer.