Keolis Nederland has put 246 all-electric buses into operation in the provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel. This is the bulk of the order for 259 e-buses awarded to BYD at the end of 2019. The remaining 13 battery buses are scheduled for delivery in spring 2021.
The major procurement campaign followed a new concession (“concession IJssel-Vecht”) that Keolis had been awarded in the Netherlands last December to deploy the country’s largest electric bus fleet to date. The 10-year concession, worth 900 million euros, covers the Dutch provinces of Overijssel, Gelderland, Flevoland and the municipalities of Zwolle, Apeldoorn and Lelystad.
The network the newly arrived e-buses now cover includes 120 routes that connect 180 villages and four towns, namely Apeldoorn, Zwolle, Ede, and Deventer. About 3.1 million people live in the area.
The majority of the order (206 units) are twelve-meter vehicles with 39 seats and 40 standing places. The other e-buses are BYD’s recently launched and now longer-range 13-meter models with 41 passengers seated and 14 standing. When Keolis and BYD announced the order, there was still talk of a third type of bus, BYD’s 8.7-meter midi buses. The partners no longer mention these.
All 12- and 13-meter models are equipped with Combo 2 plugs and pantographs that can charge at 27 bus stations and depots. Besides, seven depots house 150 chargers for charging overnight. Keolis also announces that it has trained a total of 750 drivers and 50 employees in planning, logistics, maintenance, personnel and marketing.
For BYD, this was the largest single order for electric buses from Europe to date. The company says it took an “integrated approach throughout the supply chain” to produce efficiently, that is in only a year since signing the contract. The Chinese group worked with various production sites, including its plant in Hungary. Just a few days ago, BYD announced plans to expand said factory in Hungary as reported.
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