Arriva Netherlands has ordered 55 VDL Citea LLE-115 Electrics for Limburg, which must be fully electric by 2026.
From 30 June 2019, 20 LLE-115 Electrics will begin operating from Maastricht. 20 more will be deployed by Sittard, 10 in Venlo-Venray and the remaining five in Heerlen.
“We are proud that, as a partner of Arriva, we have developed a bus that will also run electrically outside the city,” said Ard Romers, Director of VDL Bus & Coach Nederland bv.
“The bus in question is the recently introduced 11.5m-length variant, with more seats. For us, this will be the largest regional operation to-date. That is very special. On an annual basis, it will be around 100,000 kilometres per bus.”
Arriva Netherlands is the first public transport company in the country to use electric buses for regional lines on a large scale. Ard added: “A fantastic first.
“The concept is based on the very positive experience we have had with Arriva in Venlo, where our 9.9m-long electric city buses have been running without problems since 2016.
“For regional transport in Limburg, we will be using a lightweight bus. The vehicles have 42 comfortable seats facing the direction of travel and a capacity of approximately 65 passengers.
“The action radius is ensured with 180kWh batteries, which can also be charged very quickly. This makes it easy for the buses to travel over 400 kilometres a day.”
In its request for tenders for the public transport concession, the Province of Limburg asked for a plan for rapid growth to zero emissions. Arriva won the order with the promise to achieve completely zero emissions by 2025-2026.
Arriva and VDL Bus & Coach began the cooperation in 2016, when 12 electric buses were put in service in Venlo and four ZE buses on one city route in Maastricht.
A further step followed when, in December 2018, the other city services in Maastricht were also electrified, with an additional 24 VDL buses.
Anne Hettinga, Chair of the Board of Directors of Arriva Netherlands, said: “As Arriva Netherlands, we are now taking this step towards electric transport in the region.
“It is unique in that quiet, clean, comfortable transport is no longer only available for the traveller in the city. Due to the longer distances travelled, comfort is extra important for the regional traveller.
“In addition to the emphasis on action radius, we also asked for a low-entry bus in which many passengers can travel seated in the direction of travel. The low entry and raised rear floor result in flexible layout of the bus seating arrangement.”
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