106 new electric buses for Brussels from summer

The first new electric buses ordered by Brussels public transport operator MIVB/STIB from German manufacturer Daimler Buses will be in service from July. This is reported by the newspapers La Capital and Le Soir.

A total of 106 e-buses are involved. With this order, MIVB/STIB intends to replace its diesel models under the Euro-5 and Euro-6 standards, which will be banned in the Brussels Region LEZ in the coming months or years.

Pressure because of the LEZ

MIVB/STIB placed an order for 36 e-buses with Daimler Buses in November. Earlier, MIVB/STIB also concluded a framework contract with the manufacturer for up to 70 longer articulated e-buses. Those first e-buses will thus be delivered in July and will then be deployed from the end of August after all kinds of tests and staff training.

That the new buses entered the fleet was quite urgent: from 2025, around 50 Euro 5 diesel buses will no longer be allowed to operate in the low-emission zone (LEZ) in the Brussels Region.


According to top executive Brieuc de Meeûs, MIVB/STIB has an agreement with Daimler Buses for up to 220 buses, including 140 articulate buses at just under a million euros each. If all goes well, delivery of the rest of the order will continue until 2026.

Currently, the MIVB/STIB network has 37 all-electric buses, out of a fleet of 855 buses. But the arrival of the Mercedes-Benz eCitaro’s marks the real beginning of the deployment of this type of vehicle.

The buses have a theoretical range of 250 km and, in addition to ‘slow’ charging at night, are also charged via a pantograph for a few minutes at its terminus to avoid having to take buses off the grid during peak hours. The four-door eCitaro features powerful NMC3 batteries.

The transition to a 100% e-fleet by 2035, when internal combustion engines will normally be banned in Brussels, will cost MIVB/STIB almost a billion euros.

The first new e-buses of MIVB/STIB will be deployed on lines 46 (Pannenhuis-Moortebeek), 53 (Military Hospital – Westland Shopping Center), 87 (Simonis – Beekkant) and 89 (Central Station – Westland Shopping Center).

Situation in Wallonia and Flanders

In Wallonia, where more than 2,000 TEC buses circulate, the public operator claims to have already reduced its CO2 emissions by 27% since introducing hybrid buses in 2017.

TEC will buy some 45% of ‘clean’ buses – read: electric or hydrogen-powered buses by 2025 and 65% by 2030. In this context, TEC’s Mobi’Park project was recently approved.

The Flemish public transport company De Lijn wants completely emission-free public transport by 2035. Out of a fleet of 2,200 buses, barely 90 electric ones are currently operational. Next year, another 220 should be added.


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