New technology and vehicle from VDL

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The Dutch firm has expanded its Citea range and introduced a new electric wheel hub drive

NETHERLANDS VDL Bus & Coach presented its first new vehicle with electric wheel-hub drive from Ziehl- Abegg at UITP in Geneva at the end of May.

VDL confirmed the Germanmade system would become the standard drive system in all its electric Citea series models. Previously, the drive system from Ziehl-Abegg (Kuenzelsau) was only used for retrofitting diesel buses. The firm says implementation of the ZAwheel has significant advantages over other systems as it eliminates the requirement for a transmission and differential with significant weight reduction as a consequence.

In January, Ziehl-Abegg began construction of a new Drive Technology/Automotive factory in Hohenlohe (South Germany) representing an investment of €24m. Series production of the ZAwheel electrical wheel-hub drive is planned to start in the new factory.

The move comes after the company further extended its Citea range to include an articulated low floor version. The new model becomes available at the end of 2013 in a Euro 6 version with two different lengths, the SLFA-180 (18m) and SLFA-187 (18.75m). Both feature completely flat floors and are suited for the transport of larger groups of passengers and can be used both for city and regional transport. The Citea’s low floor construction provides easy access, especially for travellers with baby buggies or for wheelchairs. The rear section can also be fitted with a wheelchair platform. During the design of the Citea SLFA considerable attention was given to the flow of passengers to and from the entry and exit doors.

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