De Lijn to build largest depot for e-buses in Ghent
Public transport company De Lijn has applied for a permit to exploit a depot for 40 electric buses in Wissenhage, Ghent. The number of e-buses will increase considerably in the coming years, and they all will need charging and shelter.
The site in Wissenhage is 14 hectares and will become De Lijn’s largest depot. The building will offer space for 40 e-buses, 65 articulated buses, and 40 trams. Apart from that, there is some additional space for vehicles in repair and for the last share of diesel buses.
De Lijn is planning to build a central workshop for all buses and trams in Ghent, warehouses, offices, and washing facilities. Further down, there will be a training area and a zone for driving tests.
The new building will be equipped with 10 000 m2 solar panels and a 27 000 m2 large green roof. The project will be built according to the DBFM principle (Design, Build, Finance, Maintain) to spread the costs. Three consortia are interested in the project. Tenders are expected by the end of March 2022. The construction is should be ready for use in the course of 2026.
2 000 e-buses by 2035
Plans for the new depot are not new though. De Lijn earlier had intentions to expand because the depots of Gentbrugge and Destelbergen are suffering from a lack of space.
Today, De Lijn has more than 530 hybrid buses operational in Flanders. The delivery of the first 60 fully electric buses is expected by the end of 2022. Later, more e-buses will follow. The goal is to have more than 2 000 e-buses in Flanders by 2035. The entire fleet will be emission-free by then.