09 Dec 2019


The Belgian public transport operator De Lijn orders 200 green buses from VDL Bus & Coach. It is the largest order ever from the operator, both in terms of the number of buses and in terms of investment of 92 million euros. De Lijn now opts for hybrid buses. In a second phase of the project, VDL Bus & Coach converts the buses to electric.

De Lijn does not yet have sufficient charging points along the routes where the buses will be in operation. That is why this solution is chosen so that De Lijn can have a “green” bus fleet. After delivery, almost one in three buses of De Lijn is “green”. With these 200 new buses, De Lijn saves a million litres of diesel annually and 2640 tonnes of CO2 emissions. A year earlier, De Lijn already ordered 184 “green” buses for an amount of 64 million euros. Later that year, another order of 130 buses followed for 34 million euros. Until 2025 De Lijn will order at least another 77 hybrid buses and around 925 electric buses.

This VDL-order consists of 80 Citeas SLE 120 Hybrid and 120 Citeas SLFA 180 Hybrid. Both have the same electric driveline as the Citea Electric. The 12 meter low-floor bus is powered by a 160 kW electric motor and is equipped with a 32 kWh "High Power" battery pack. The articulated low-floor bus has a 240 kW electric motor combined with a 64 kWh "High-Power" battery pack. The Euro 6 generator is a 210 kW strong, 4-cylinder engine. These new generation of hybrid Citeas can drive electric more than half the time. The new "high-power" battery technology ensures that these hybrid buses can be used as a fully electric bus in city centers and low emission zones. The high battery capacity, should make it possible that the buses will run fully electrically for up to 30 kilometers. The batteries are charged via a CCS Combo2 plug with some help 'en route' from the 4-cylinder Euro 6 diesel generator. A fast-charge option will be possible in the future via a pantograph integrated in the charging infrastructure.

The new hybrid buses are second-generation. At first they will running as hybrids, so with a mix of batteries and an engine. In the long term, they will be converted by VDL Bus & Coach into fully electric. This depends on an agreement municipalities and De Lijn must reach on the construction of charging stations along the bus routes. In addition, energy suppliers must provide sufficient electricity connections for the required charging points.

Adding up De Lijn has 621 hybrid buses, 16 electric buses and 5 fuel cell buses. Delivery of the 200 VDLs starts after the summer of 2020. The intercity buses have a total of at least 88 places of which 37 seats, with the articulated buses there are 132 places, of which 47 seats.

De Lijn is the Flemish public company - Dutch speaking part of Belgium - that provides public transport in Flanders. Around 3.5 million people use De Lijn's services every year. The De Lijn network has around 1000 lines with 36,000 stops and a fleet of 2250 buses and 400 trams. 8,000 people work together. Buses and trams run around 11 million journeys a year.

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