VDL Bus & Coach on parade

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Dutch manufacturer plans comprehensive line up at this year’s Busworld Kortrijk

BELGIUM Human mobility is becoming increasingly important and VDL Bus & Coach says it’s responding to that challenge. The Citea Electric city bus it manufactures is proving its value in various cities around Europe having totalled four million kilometres in service so far. The Citea LLE and complete Futura range promise lowest Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and more Profit of Ownership, due to lower total weight for less fuel consumption, less emission of harmful substances and lower maintenance costs

During Busworld, Kortrijk, VDL will be presenting its broad product range from the latest developments in E-Mobility through to the lightweight Citea LLE 12.7m and from the 14.1m Futura double-decker to the compact MidCity midibus.

The VDL Citea SLFA Electric is an 18.1m electric articulated bus built to an innovative, futuristic-type BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) design. The vehicle recently received the 2017 Red Dot Award, an international design prize presented annually by the ‘Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen’ in Essen, Germany. The VDL Citea Electric was prize winner in the category ‘Product Design’. A never before seen version of the Citea SLFA-181 Electric will be on display.

A VDL Citea SLF-120 Electric will be available for test rides, while also on show outside will be a VDL Citea LLE-99 Electric with a rapid charging station. At a length of 9.9m this model was specially developed for less busy city and regional routes.

The stand line up will include a 12.7m Citea LLE-127 – the longest variant available. An extended wheelbase means it can provide space for four additional seats compared with a 12-metre variant. Compared with alternatives with the same number of seats it also enjoys the advantages of a low total weight, lower fuel consumption, less emission of harmful substances, lower maintenance costs and as a consequence, the lowest TCO on the market, and higher Profit of Ownership says it’s builder.

Unladen, a fully equipped 12-metre Citea LLE weighs less than 9,000kg, at least two tonnes less than any similar bus type. This low unladen weight results in very favourable fuel consumption which, in turn, means reduced CO2 emissions, fine dust particulate and NOx. Together with the start-stop function and an integrated regeneration system, a reduction in fuel consumption of between 4% and 8% has been achieved compared with the previous versions of the vehicle.

With its low-floor and easy access for wheelchair users, VDL says the 70cm-extended wheelbase MidCity was developed entirely for public transport applications. Thanks to the position of the double-door, passengers can climb aboard adjacent to the driver and there is space for an additional seat by the entrance.

The Busworld vehicle will seat 17 (including three folding seats) and have standing room for up to nine passengers and one wheelchair space. Thanks to its compact dimensions (total length is 8.061m), this is a midibus that’s ideal for operation in narrow city streets.

Like the rest of the VDL range, with its low unladen weight the Futura coach delivers good fuel economy, high passenger capacity, high volume of luggage space and a low kilometre cost price says its manufacturer. There’s a huge variety available in terms of length, height, number of axles, layout and interior design.

On show will be a FDD2-141 double-decker, where the use of a dividing floor made with lightweight sandwich material creates a height clearance of 1.86m in the lower deck. The extended angle of sight for the driver, achieved by allowing the dividing floor to be angled upwards as it approaches the windscreen, is a notable innovation that delivers better all- round vision.

The FHD2-106 on display reflects how VDL is targeting the VIP market. Like other Futura models, this 10.6m 40-seater comes with a flat floor throughout. There will also be a 13.5m FHD2-135 – the maximum permitted length on two axles. Luggage capacity is more than 12m3 and the maximum seating layout is for 63 passengers. The coach also has a small turning circle of just 23,480mm.

A VIP version of the VDL MidEuro will be on display outside the halls. To create additional space like the MidCity, the wheelbase has been extended by 70cm, but the vehicle has been further extended by 30cm at the rear to give a total length of 8.4m. The interior specification includes 16 semi-leather seats and two hardwood tables. Enhancing the VIP experience are panoramic side windows, USB connections, a refrigerator, multimedia system and two monitors.