Coach manufacturer expands BEV offerings in US market
Belgian manufacturer Van Hool will celebrate 75 years in business in 2022 with the launch of the new EX 11 in right-hand drive form. Van Hool is represented in Ireland by Cronin’s of Cork and the arrival of the EX 11 here in October completes the EX family of coaches for right-hand drive markets.
Van Hool Executives Erik Olijslagers, Bram Steenackers and Johan Moorgat visited Ireland during November to visit customers and to demonstrate the quality of the new 10.6 metre, 40-seater high liner passenger transport vehicle. (The next edition of Fleet Bus & Coach will feature our test drive report if the EX 11).
MeanwhileVan Hool has become the first bus and coach manufacturer in the world to build a 100% battery electric double-deck coach: the TDX25E. This new zero-emission vehicle provides space for 69 passengers (18 on the lower deck and 51 on the upper deck) and has a range of up to 500 km, depending on the climatological conditions and the route’s topography. The TDX25E is destined for the USA market, where it will be used for employee commutes as well as regular passenger transport.
Exactly a year ago Van Hool shipped its first 100% battery electric coach, the CX45E, to North America. With 22 units sold, the company is once again demonstrating its innovative capabilities based on its vast experience in electrical drive systems. Over the past few decades Van Hool has built more than 1,200 vehicles with an electrical drive system, including hydrogen, trolley, battery and hybrid powertrains. Both the CX45E and the brand new TDX25E use electrical components, including a Siemens power train and Proterra batteries.
“American customers reacted very enthusiastically to the driving experiences with our first battery electric coach, the CX45E. This prompted us to quickly set to work on developing a battery electric double-deck, which has a higher passenger capacity. Our experience with electrical drive systems in the past, and recently with the CX45E, really helped us with the rapid development and comprehensive testing of the newest Van Hool double-deck, the TDX25E,” explained Filip Van Hool, CEO at Van Hool.
“We’ve been producing double-deck coaches since 1982. Twenty-five years later, in 2007, we shipped the first double-decks to the US. And now, 15 years later, we are launching the first 100% battery electric double-deck coach on the US market. This is a second home market for Van Hool, nowhere else in the world is the demand for our double-deck coaches higher than in the USA. Globally, Van Hool has sold more than 3,500 units in 19 different countries,” added Filip.
“The partnership between Van Hool and its distributor on the North American market, ABC Bus Companies, Inc. began 34 years ago. After all these years of hard work, together we have managed to put Van Hool on the map in North America. Today there are more than 11,000 Van Hool coaches and buses on North American roads serving many customers, including a number of large Silicon Valley companies who organise shuttles for their employees. Due to demand from several customers for fully electrically driven vehicles, we at Van Hool looked for a solution,” he concluded.