Bologna starts electrification with VDL

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ITALY

Operator TPER and VDL Bus & Coach have made the first steps towards electrifying Bologna’s bus network with an order for seven electric Citeas, marking the start of a long-term programme which could see VDL supply up to 20 electric city buses.

The delivery of the seven SLF-120 Electric Citeas to TPER in Bologna is VDL’s second e-mobility project in Italy; in May last year, it provided two electric Citeas to shuttle between the car parks and terminals of Milan Malpensa Airport. “Cities in Italy are increasingly making the transition to sustainable public transport”, said Massimiliano Costantini, Managing Director of VDL Bus & Coach Italia. “We are proud that TPER has called on our expertise as a frontrunner in e-mobility in Europe. Our electric buses have covered more than 125 million kilometres, which is a clear indicator of our competence. This order strengthens our foothold in the market, which speaks to our ambition to play a major role in Italy’s transition to zero-emission public transport.”

The electric Citeas should hit the streets of Bologna in 2022. As the capital of Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, Bologna is in the top ten largest cities in Italy with almost 400,000 inhabitants. VDL Bus & Coach is also responsible for the implementation of the charging infrastructure to serve the new buses, which have a 350kWh battery pack The depot will be fitted with Heliox chargers to charge three buses simultaneously.

Andrea Bottazzi, Manager of Automotive Maintenance and Logistics of TPER, said: “We have great ambitions to make public transport more sustainable and acquire zero-emission vehicles. We have past experience with electric mini-buses which had a battery range of up to 100 kilometres, but this is our maiden voyage with electric buses. We were looking for a reliable, experienced partner, particularly in the field of charging infrastructure, and as such we are delighted that VDL Bus & Coach won the tender. We look forward to the cooperation and the arrival of the buses in Bologna.”

TPER (Emilia-Romagna Passenger Transport) was founded on 1 February 2012 following the merger of ATC, a road transport company based in Bologna and Ferrara, and FER, a regional railway company. It is now a major passenger transport operator in Italy with over 2,500 employees. Its services cover over 50 million kilometres annually, including 44.2 million by road and almost six million by rail.