143 VDL Citeas for RET Rotterdam

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New order from Dutch operator brings number of VDL buses it has ordered this year to 198

An impression of what the RET VDL Citea SLE-120 hybrids will look like. VDL

VDL Bus & Coach has signed a contract to supply RET Rotterdam with 143 VDL Citeas. As part of the transition to more sustainable public transport, the order comprises 103 VDL Citea SLE-120 hybrids and 40 VDL Citea LLE-120s with Euro VI engines.

RET ordered 55 VDL Citea electrics, including the charging infrastructure, from VDL in August. Starting in late 2019 these vehicles will be deployed on routes in Rotterdam, Schiedam and Vlaardingen. The hybrid and diesel buses will mainly be used for regional service in the Rotterdam region.

President and Chairman of the Board, Willem van der Leegte of VDL Groep, said: “Along with the award of 55 fully electric buses in July, the award of this concession for 143 VDL Citeas is a sign of RET’s confidence in VDL. We at VDL are very proud to continue our long history of supplying buses to Rotterdam, a dynamic city known as a hub for transport and mobility. It is great to be part of that. We are also pleased that our buses will contribute to further CO2 reduction in the city and thus a cleaner Rotterdam.”

With the deployment of hybrid and lightweight diesel buses on regional routes in the Rotterdam region, a further step is being taken in the transition to cleaner public transport, says VDL. The rear axle is driven by an electric motor for which the electric current either comes from the battery pack, in which case it is purely electric-powered, or the diesel generator. When the diesel engine is running, this charges the batteries too. In addition, recovered braking energy is also used to charge the batteries. In the zones where the diesel engine is running, the speed will be kept as constant as possible to maintain the lowest possible noise level.

VDL said the low kerb weight of the 40 12m Citea LLEs means they have significantly lower fuel consumption compared to conventional buses and lower maintenance costs. The fuel savings not only result in lower operating costs, but also reduced CO2 emissions. The diesel buses are equipped with a start-stop system that saves fuel because the engine is shut off at stops or at a standstill.

Maurice Unck, CEO of RET, said: “With this contract we are taking another step in the sustainability of our bus fleet. Earlier this year we already awarded the order for delivery of 55 fully electric buses to VDL. With this step we are once again contributing to the shared sustainability objectives of the national government, the region and RET.”