VDL Bus & Coach recently completed what it believes is Europe’s first large-scale battery refurbishment project. Forty-three buses operated by Hermes, part of Transdev Netherlands, which went into service at the end of 2016, were fitted with new and much larger battery packs over the course of the past year, bringing them back up to date in terms of their equipment. The old batteries will be used within project ‘Anubis’ in cooperation with energy provider RWE in a stationary application in the national power grid.
Brabant-based Hermes took the 43 electric 18-metre buses into service at the end of 2016, at the time one of the largest electric bus fleets in Europe. After more than six years in service in and around Eindhoven, the first-generation batteries have been replaced by a new generation, which VDL says has significantly increased the range of the buses. The decision was also made to replace the original battery pack with a new system with almost double the capacity, increased from 180kWh to 350kWh, a move made possible by battery developments in the intervening years, and which allows a significantly greater range.
Hermes Managing Director Martijn Mentink said: “In 2016, Hermes led the way with the introduction of 43 18-metre zero-emission buses. We are proud to now be taking another big step forwards in our greening strategy. Because we need fewer charging cycles for our buses, we can use them on more lines. This will allow more travellers to experience the comfort of these electric buses and, of course, we are extremely happy about that.”