Electric buses to be tested in Flemish cities
Ghent, Antwerp and Leuven will see fully electric buses on the roads in 2019 as part of a test project
“We want to test the viability of the buses, together with the implementation in the public space and energy performance,” said De Lijn director-general Roger Kesteloot.
De Lijn has begun to investigate potential suppliers of the vehicles and are looking at VDL in Roeselare and Van Hool in Lier. VDL recently won a contract for the construction of 100 electric buses for a Dutch transit company.
De Lijn is already running a small test project involving three electric buses in Bruges (pictured). Those buses are equipped with wireless charging using an induction system – an electromagnetic field that transfers energy to the busses’ batteries.
The new, more extensive, project will involve vehicles with batteries that are charged using a cable. “We have seen that 95% of electric buses in Europe are charged using a cable,” a De Lijn spokesperson said. “We are following the evolution of the market closely.”
The test vehicles would have a small battery, allowing more seating, and can be rapidly recharged at the terminus, De Lijn said. Batteries can run for up to 50 minutes, which means the buses are only suitable for urban routes.
Photo courtesy De Lijn
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