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            december 08, 2019

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49 Citeas SLFA-181 for pioneer Osnabrück


Stadtwerke Osnabrück is expanding its pioneering role in the field of electromobility. With thirteen buses, Osnabrück already has the largest electric fleet in Germany. Now that fleet will be expanded with 49 more Citeas SLFA-181 from VDL Bus & Coach.
On Friday 5 July, signatures were placed on a new cooperation agreement. This sounded the starting shot for building the world's first electric articulated buses. In 2021, the city will have a total of 62 emission-free public transport buses in operation. “Pioneers like Stadtwerke Osnabrück are always needed to put new developments in practice,” says Boris Höltermann, director of VDL Bus and Coach Duitsland. “We are proud of the cooperation, which also shows that our concept is convincing.”

Higher level
“We are confident the new buses will be as good as the first thirteen”, said Dr Stephan Rolfes, director of mobility at Stadtwerke Osnabrück. The 100-day balance sheet, following the initial start of operation in March 2019, is very positive. Of course, there are always details that can be improved, but VDL Bus & Coach's electric buses take our public transport to the next level. Not only are we satisfied, we are also receiving very positive feedback from residents and passengers.
”Cooperation VDL Bus & Coach plays an important role in the project management for the implementation of the electric bus fleet. Based on the experience gained with the first thirteen buses, VDL B&C is working closely with Stadtwerke Osnabrück and Schaltbau to come up with ready-made solutions. Höltermann said, “In this type of complex project, good rapport among all parties is a basic requirement. With over 30 million kilometres travelled and more than 400 electric buses spread throughout much of Europe, we naturally take our responsibility as a transition partner. ”The 49 electric VDL Citea articulated buses will travel a total of 14,000 km per day. They will be in operation around the clock. This maximum utilization of the buses will be possible thanks to the optimized rapid charging concept. The batteries have an energy capacity of 216 kWh and can be charged at a rate of up to 320 kW.
The new fleet of electric buses is identical to the thirteen buses currently operating in Osnabrück. They feature the latest technology and design. Passenger comfort is paramount. This is reflected in the design of the seats, interior and lighting and the presence of USB connections. There are two main differences: the new vehicles will be equipped with larger batteries and will no longer have supplemental fossil fuel heating.

Fully electric
In addition to Schaltbau rapid chargers distributed across the strategically located charging stations in the area of operation, there are 49 Schaltbau depot chargers (50 kW) in the bus depot. Here the buses are slowly charged and preheated at night so they can be started in the morning with a full battery and a preheated interior. Charging is done via roof-mounted pantographs on the buses. All the electric buses are equipped with the latest battery technology, which meets the strictest European standards.
Since the end of last year, Osnabrück's line 1, between Haste and Düstrup, has been operating on a fully electric basis. Lines 2 to 5 will follow, as soon as the 49 articulated electric VDL buses are put into service. For the municipality of Osnabrück, the complete electrification of the local transport is an important part of the ‘Mobile Future’ project, a joint undertaking of the city of Osnabrück and its municipal utilities. This includes sustainable mobility concepts, promotion of environmentally friendly local mobility, furtherance of e-mobility, encouragement of bicycle use and advancement of public transport.

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