VDL’s new Citea bus will only be electric
Bus and coach manufacturer VDL presents the new generation of its Citea bus, which will be available exclusively as an electric vehicle.
The new Citea will be built in four length variants, and all vehicles will have an operating radius of 500 to 600 kilometers over their entire period of use, claims VDL.
Up to 490 kWh battery capacity
The battery capacity of the smallest new Citea will feature up to 490 kWh. The new bus will be available in lengths of 12,2 m (Low Floor and Low Entry), 13,5 m (LE), 14,9 m (LE), and 18,1 m(LF).
According to VDL, the standard battery pack will now be housed in the floor, which maximizes the number of seats.
Due to this integration, the electric bus will have a lower weight and a lower center of gravity and thus a more stable road holding. As the manufacturer’s announcement refers to a ‘standard battery pack’, additional batteries could be installed elsewhere in the bus.
VDL had already announced that new generations of its buses would have an innovative sidewall made of a composite material, which is supposed to reduce vibrations, filter external noise, and be 15 percent lighter than a conventional sidewall.
The wall, made from one piece, also prevents cold bridges and significantly improves the insulation of the bus. Consequently, the consumption of the air-conditioning is also significantly reduced, VDL claims.
“The development of the new generation Citeas allowed us to integrate the latest high-tech technologies in the most efficient way possible,” says Alex de Jong, Business Manager Public Transport at VDL Bus & Coach.
“We started completely from scratch, focusing on zero emissions. We took the ideal layout of the vehicle as a starting point. An optimal seat layout and passenger flow, combined with optimal weight distribution, were essential to the development,” he continues.
“We also decided at that stage to integrate the standard batteries into the floor. This aims to reduce the center of gravity and optimize the weight distribution and allocation of all necessary components.”
TCO lower than diesel
Compared to diesel-fueled buses, the number of passengers in the new Citea is greater and the total cost of ownership (TCO) lower in most operating conditions.
In an earlier announcement, VDL wrote of up to 110 passengers that can be carried in the new 12,2-meter basic version. There is already a first customer for this bus variant: the Dutch transport company Hermes ordered 32 units of this version in April, which are to be used in Eindhoven from January 2022.
The new Citea will be built at VDL’s established production facilities in the Netherlands and Belgium. The company wants to make production as sustainable as possible.
Thus, a large proportion of the parts – “components that together account for more than 80 percent of the bus weight” – will be supplied from within a 1 250 km radius of the assembly lines from other Western European countries. In addition, the manufacturer cooperates with UNICEF to trace the battery chain.
“With the market for electric public transport buses growing, our customers are emphatically looking for sustainable e-mobility,” says Willem van der Leegte, CEO of VDL Group.
“By contributing to the sustainability targets of our customers and contracting authorities, VDL Bus & Coach is striving to increase the value and quality our customers demand. Ensuring ethical business practices throughout the complex supply chain is, of course, crucial in this regard. Our starting point is to manage that supply chain sustainably.”