Arriva advances Dutch electric fleet with e-buses by VDL

Arriva is expanding the zero-emission bus fleet in the Netherlands with new vehicles from VDL Bus & Coach. The Deutsche Bahn subsidiary has ordered 64 electric buses to enter service in the company’s North Brabant East concession.

Specifically, VDL Bus & Coach will supply Arriva with 40 VDL Citea buses of type LF-122 and four articulated buses of type LF-181 for public transport in Tilburg. The order also includes 20 Citea LE-135 to run on overhead lines between Uden-Veghel-Eindhoven and Uden-Veghel-Den Bosch.

VDL introduced the new Citea line in May 2021 as a pure EV range. The models come in lengths of 12.2 metres (“LF-122” with low entry), 13.5 metres (LE-135), 14.9 metres (LE-149) and 18.1 metres (LF-181). All of them will have an operating range of 500 to 600 kilometres.

All 64 new vehicles have CCS Combo 2 charging sockets left and right for flexibility at depot locations. Arriva also lists ISO ePM1 filters in the passenger compartment, including virus filters and camera monitoring systems, as safety advances.

While the LF-series Citeas for Tilburg focus on urban service, e.g. good passenger flow and multi-purpose areas for wheelchairs, walkers and baby carriages, the Citea LE-135s on order differ in this respect. These vehicles are equipped with comfortable seats with extra-thick seats and backrest cushions, most of which are arranged in the direction of travel since they will run intercity services.

In fact, Arriva is reportedly the first public transport company in the Netherlands to operate electric buses for regional transport on a broader scale and has worked on a similar project with VDL in Maastricht and Sittard and other regions.

Jan Pieter Been, regional director of Arriva South, commented today, “As one of the largest public transport operators in the Netherlands, we have a name to uphold.” He also mentioned the target of being fully carbon-neutral by 2027. “We will achieve 90% of this through the transition to zero emissions and the last 10% by offsetting,” he said.

North Brabant has similar ambitions and wants zero emissions from public transport by 2030. Deputy Suzanne Otters-Bruijnen said these 64 buses were “another big step towards” said goal. “As things stand, by the end of 2023, 1 in 4 buses will already be electric, which is good news,” she said.


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