EvoBus will send bendy buses to STIB in Brussels

Brussels transport company STIB has ordered 70 articulated electric buses with Daimler Truck’s subsidiary EvoBus. Heliox will fit the depots with charging infrastructure, but the buses will also charge en route.

STIB expects to receive the buses from EvoBus next year and placed the order through public procurement and with a loan granted by the European Investment Bank to the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region.

The first bus will serve as a training and test vehicle for STIB to request adjustments before the remaining e-buses arrive. These will replace diesel buses which will be banned in Brussels from 2025, and also increase STIB’s capacity by 2,000 places.

The new articulated buses will be assigned to four lines, lines 46 (Pannenhuis – Moortebeek), 53 (Military Hospital – Westland Shopping Center), 87 (Simonis – Beekkant) and 89 (Gare Centrale – Westland Shopping Center). Their terminals will be adapted from 2024.

Said adaptation is necessary since the EvoBus models enable opportunity charging during operations via pantograph and overnight charging at the depots. The pantograph is a recent addition to the eCitaro model. While not specified, this is the only bendy bus in the EvoBus range. It typically comes standard with DC charging via plug at 150 kW and 300 kW pantographs. These are actually a “charging rail” since they work top-down, i.e. come down from a station to the connector on the roof of the bus. The pantograph also points to STIB having opted for NMC batteries since the solid-state batteries that Daimler also offers do not offer such fast-charging capacity.

Heliox was awarded the contract to equip the depot with smart charging facilities. The companies mention no details, but the Dutch company has recently equipped large bus depots in Europe and the US.

In Brussels, STIB got permission to modify the depots in Moortebeek, Westland Shopping and Pannenhuis starting next year. STIB is also preparing the electrification of other stops, namely Simonis, Beekkant and Gare Centrale, and the Marly bus depot, in Neder-Over-Heembeek.

The new EvoBus models will join another 37 electric buses in operation. STIB also plans to place another order for around twenty electric solo buses in September 2023. Currently, the transport company has plans to electrify its entire bus fleet by 2035 of now 830 buses.

stib.com (in French)


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