Electric buses in Brussels charge while you get on board
Brussels public transport company, MIVB/STIB, is putting its first electric-propelled buses into service on Monday. The buses recharge in just six minutes at the bus stop. MIVB/STIB is the first company in Belgium to test this technology.
As from April 29th, the first electric buses are being tested on line 64. These are MIVB/STIB’s first fully electric buses, which are longer and heavier than an ordinary bus. “Because they are so big, they use more energy”, says An Van Hamme, spokeswoman for MIVB/STIB. “As a result, they can not complete a daily cycle on a single charge”, she adds.
MIVB/STIB uses a special technique to solve this problem. At the Naamsepoort stop and in the Haren depot, special loading poles were placed. The buses have a kind of antenna on the roof, comparable to a tram, which can be connected to the charging station while they wait at the stop.
“We can even skip a charging session if we want to, because the range (30 to 40 km) of the bus is greater than the distance to be covered (10 km). At night, the buses are also charged in the depot”, Van Hamme concludes.
Clean fleet by 2025
For Brussels Minister for Mobility, Pascal Smet (sp.a), the arrival of electric buses is important for the MIVB/STIB network. “This clearly shows that we are opting for electrification”, Smet says. MIVB/STIB ordered a total of 25 buses of the same type.
For the time being, the new charging system is still in a test phase. MIVB/STIB wants to have a completely clean and environmentally friendly bus fleet by 2025 and is therefore testing different technologies. Over the past three years, the bus company has already adopted five new types of green buses in its fleet.