Dutch coachbuilder VDL Bus & Coach has launched a new generation of its successful Citea, Citybus, entirely based on an electric driveline


Next year, VDL Bus & Coach will present the new generation of electric Citeas. Based on the VDL vision, a bus concept has been developed entirely based on an electric driveline, ready for a future where zero emission is a matter of course. VDL Bus & Coach will be announcing more details in the coming months. The new buses will be on display for the first time during Busworld Europe in Brussels, next October.

“From the innovative vision for which VDL is known, a total concept has been developed,” explained Henk Coppens CEO of VDL Bus & Coach. “In recent years, we have been working hard behind the scenes to create a future-ready public transport platform that integrates the latest technologies. Modularity enables our customers to respond optimally to the challenges of public transport and the changing nature of mobility systems.”

Alex de Jong, Business Manager Public Transport at VDL Bus & Coach, added: “Although the name Citea remains the same, the concept of the bus has been completely revamped and is based entirely on an electric driveline. The new generation of Citea, which will consist of four length variants, meets every possible demand from the market: each model offers an uncompromising solution in terms of durability, technology, range, passenger comfort and capacity, ergonomics, flexibility, safety and Total Cost of Ownership.”

Among other things, VDL Bus & Coach is introducing an innovative composite sidewall construction that is 15% lighter than a conventional sidewall. The battery pack is integrated into the floor as standard. This ensures better weight distribution, greater stability (safety) and increases passenger capacity. The choice of efficient components, lightweight construction, good insulation, aerodynamic design and optimum energy management reduce the vehicle’s energy consumption by up to as much as 30%.

The new generation of Citea is also being built in the Netherlands and Belgium. “We are uncompromising in this too. The pursuit of sustainable mobility solutions is an important pillar of the climate strategy in many European countries. On the basis of our social commitment, we are sticking to our strategy of maintaining and strengthening the high-quality manufacturing industry in terms of knowledge, innovation and production in Western Europe. In the spirit of VDL Group’s vision: the manufacturing industry has a future in Europe. Europe has a future in manufacturing,” Henk said.

VDL Group has been active in the field of electric transport for over 25 years. Since the introduction of the first Citea SLF-120 Electric during the UITP Mobility & City Transport exhibition in 2013 in Geneva, VDL Bus & Coach has focused strongly on electric mobility. With 750 buses now operating in 10 countries and more than 150,000 kilometres driven every day in many European cities and regions, the magic milestone of 100 million electric kilometres is in sight.

VDL Bus & Coach has become one of the most important players in Europe in the field of e-mobility. Following the introduction of the first Citea in 2013, the first contract with the German city of Münster was signed in April 2015 for the supply of 4 Citea SLF-120 Electric vehicles. Shortly afterwards, in October 2015, VDL Bus & Coach delivered the first of 8 Citea SLFA Electric vehicles in Germany to KVB Cologne.

In the Netherlands, VDL Bus & Coach is a frontrunner in the electrification of public transport, such as in Eindhoven, Southeast Friesland and Limburg, where commercial operation started in 2016. Of these deliveries, Eindhoven, with 43 buses, reached the milestone of 1,000,000 kilometres on 18 April 2017, after only 4 months of operation.

The order for e-buses for the, Amstelland Meerlanden region (Greater Amsterdam Area) in 2018 is still the largest order for VDL Bus & Coach and, with 100 e-buses, the largest electric bus fleet operated by a single company in Europe. A number of lines of this concession even run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The 100 articulated e-buses together travel up to 30,000 kilometres per day. 

The new generation of Citea embodies VDL’s vision and philosophy. “Innovation is in our DNA. VDL works on progressive solutions and technologies, always paying attention to employees, entrepreneurship and cooperation.”

Together with its partners, VDL Bus & Coach continues to innovate in the field of batteries, charging technology, system integration and design of e-buses, often in cooperation with VDL ETS (Enabling Transport Solutions), to meet customer requirements. “With VDL ETS as our most important innovation partner, we are a market leader in offering sustainable mobility solutions with an optimal Total Cost of Ownership.”

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