VDL’s new Citea generation hits the road in the Netherlands

Dutch transport company Hermes has presented its new generation of Citea electric buses in Eindhoven. With the deployment of the first 32 of a total of 64 Citeas of the new generation from VDL Bus & Coach, Hermes celebrated their premiere in North Brabant.

Image: VDL

Transdev subsidiary Hermes (not to be confused with the logistics company of the same name) will operate the buses on city routes in Eindhoven and neighbouring municipalities. There is a special promotion to mark the launch: to enable Eindhoven residents to experience the ‘comfort of the new buses,’ Hermes is offering a ‘Zero Emission Day Pass,’ which allows the electric buses to be used free of charge outside peak times (specifically from 9 a.m.). The campaign runs until 30 June.

However, the deployment of the new buses has been severely delayed. Hermes ordered the first 32 vehicles in April 2021, when it was announced that the first vehicles would be deployed around Eindhoven from January 2022, with delivery scheduled to be completed in March 2022. The vehicles ordered at the time were now deployed for the first time – at the end of May 2024. A further 32 Citeas, which Hermes ordered later, will follow in the course of this year according to current information.

The order from Hermes was the first for the completely new Citea generation and Hermes is now the first operator to deploy the new buses in regular service. The new buses are based on a completely new electric platform, which is available in four lengths – in the case of Hermes, this is the LF-122, a 12.2 metre-long solo bus. Two special features: The batteries are no longer installed on the vehicle roof, but instead in the floor. In addition, the entire side wall of the buses consists of a continuous component made of composite material, which should reduce the weight and thus increase the range – in addition to positive effects on vibrations, noise comfort and, thanks to the improved insulation, also on energy consumption when heating or cooling the interior.

“We are extremely proud that our new generation Citeas will be filling the streetscape of Eindhoven and the surrounding area. Hermes and Eindhoven have therefore achieved a first in the Netherlands,” said Richard van den Dungen, CCO VDL Bus & Coach. “The traveller and the driver are going to experience an extremely comfortable travel experience, also in the knowledge that this journey is more environmentally friendly than travelling with the previous generations of buses.”

Martijn Mentink, Regional Director of Hermes, added: “With these new zero-emission city buses, we are taking the next step towards a completely emission-free fleet in Southeast Brabant. The development is also fully in line with the vision of the commissioner of public transport, the province of North Brabant. It is good news both for them and for the residents of our region.”



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