Groningen Citea Electrics enter service

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HOLLAND VDL Bus & Coach has delivered 10 articulated VDL Citea SLFA Electrics to Qbuzz in Groningen. The buses are now operational on Q-link routes 1 (Groningen Main Station – Zuidhorn) and 2 (Europapark – Reitdiep) in Groningen. Q-link is the BRT bus network from the region to major destinations in the city of Groningen.

Based on the principle of ‘opportunity charging,’ the Citea SLFA Electrics are recharged while they operate along the route. At night the buses are fully charged at Qbuzz’s depot. VDL not only supplies the buses but is also responsible for the complete system and provides installation of the charging stations as well. The process of testing the system in full and training the drivers was completed in November.

The arrival of the electric buses is in line with OV-bureau Groningen Drenthe’s objective that all buses in the city will be completely electric by 2020. Fully electric bus transport will contribute to Groningen’s target of being energy-neutral by 2035. From 2030, public transport throughout the Netherlands will no longer be allowed to emit harmful substances.

Qbuzz concession director Astrid Veldhuizen regards the purchase of the 100% electric buses as a fantastic step for travellers, drivers and the environment alike. “Needless to say, we believe it is important to become more and more sustainable,” he said. “We are very happy that, in conjunction with OV-bureau, we are able to take concrete steps.”

Astrid is also very pleased with the implementation of the system. “Thanks to a thorough preparation by Qbuzz and intensive collaboration with VDL Bus & Coach, the charging infrastructure has been successfully implemented and the timetable introduced without problems,” he said. “We are very curious to hear travellers’ reactions. Our drivers are already very enthusiastic about the new buses. They drive really well and are very quiet.”