Is it a chain reaction starting out there? Recently, London grabbed the headlines with the announcement to run the largest electric powered bus fleet of 73 e-buses by end of 2016. Furthermore, the mayor of London plans to replace all 300 single-deck buses in central London by 2020. Today, two cities in the Netherlands follow. The fully electrically powered bus fleet of Eindhoven and Helmond goes into service today. Compared to London, the Dutch buses, built by VDL, are longer and can carry more passengers.
Electric Bus Fleet of Eindhoven & Helmond consists of 43 extra-long articulated buses
There will not be even one vehicle left in the bus fleet of Eindhoven and Helmond running on diesel. The biggest challenge of the operator, Transdev, is the range per battery charge. An innovative rotation system in combination with ultra-fast charging technology shall solve it. Allegedly, the battery of a bus can be charged within 30 minutes. The charging infrastructure of the bus terminus in Eindhoven was rebuilt completely. Instead of diesel pumps, 43 charging points are now providing the demanded power. During night-time, all buses will be fully charged. In order to further reduce risks, a shift of a bus driver starts only with a fully loaded battery. Additionally, a reserve of electric buses is ready to replace buses with empty batteries.
Similar to the buses in Hamburg, the e-buses in Eindhoven & Helmond use a kind of pantograph to connect the bus with the charging point. It is mounted on the roof and was not deployed at this scale in the Netherlands until today.
“This is an important step leading to sustainable bus transportation and a glimpse at the future of public transport,” says Bart Schmeink, CEO of Transdev Netherlands.