GERMANY VDL Bus & Coach has signed a contract with operator KVB (Kölner Verkehrs-Betriebe) to construct eight electric articulated VDL buses.
Unique to these vehicles is the fact that they operate without overhead electric wires. KVB is one of the first operators in Germany to introduce electric traction for an entire bus route.
The vehicles are based on the VDL Citea SLFA, an 18m articulated bus, and the Citea Electric. They will be built with an updated BRT design. The test phases for the first electric articulated buses will begin in the summer and autumn of 2015.
The VDL Citea SLFA Electric is an articulated bus which runs entirely on electricity without any aids. This means that unlike trolleybuses, it does not require a pantograph to continuously supply it with power.
When the bus makes contact with the charging station at the final stop, the battery charge level is first measured and then the required charge is added, quickly but intensely. The batteries are fully charged at the garage every night.
According to VDL, the modular system from which the Citea range is built will play a major role in the development of this electric variant.
This will allow easy integration of the electric components without compromising on weight, accessibility or passenger comfort. The Dutch manufacturer said that with its completely flat floor, the bus is ideal for the transport of large numbers of passengers.