First series of new generation of VDL Citea Buses: Hermes continues greening in Eindhoven
Martijn Mentink (managing director Hermes) Christophe van der Maat (provincial executive for North Brabant) and Willem van der Leegte (president and CEO VDL Groep).

First series of new generation of VDL Citea Buses: Hermes continues greening in Eindhoven

7 April 2021

With its order of the first series of the new generation of VDL Citea buses, public transport carrier Hermes is heavily investing in the quality of public transport and the further greening of the Eindhoven region. In total 32 city buses, fully based on VDL’s electric driveline with trendsetting characteristics, will form part of Eindhoven’s cityscape starting in January 2022.

The order is an important next step in the tender issued by the Province of Noord-Brabant, with the objective of completely switching over to public transport without any harmful emissions over the period 2016-2025. The contract with Hermes, which in 2016 was awarded the Southeast Brabant concession, was signed today. The contract involves 12.2-metre new-generation VDL Citea buses.

Exemplary Vision

President and CEO of VDL Groep, Willem van der Leegte: ‘Four years ago, Hermes stuck out its neck when it started with what at the time was the largest electric bus fleet in Europe. A fantastic milestone that drew worldwide attention. The fact that Hermes is now taking the next step by ordering 32 new-generation VDL Citea buses demonstrates its exemplary vision of the electrification of public transport in the region. We are proud of this long-term strength brought about through cooperation in Eindhoven, VDL’s home base.’

Unique Operation

‘Together with VDL we are running a unique operation in Eindhoven,’ says Martijn Mentink, Executive Vice President of Hermes. ‘Over the past few years, many other European carriers and cities have visited Eindhoven to see everything for themselves and to see that the future of e-mobility in public transport started here. I am very happy that with this investment in a new zero emission city fleet we can make a further contribution to stronger and cleaner public transport. The corona crisis has a considerable impact on public transport, but we are firm in our belief that innovation even in these difficult times also pays off. Together with the province we have facilitated this investment. We have acquired a great deal of knowledge and experience with the reliable VDL Citea buses on the basis of the many millions of electrically driven kilometres. We are looking forward with confidence to the time that the fleet of new-generation VDL Citea buses will take to the road.’

‘Made in the Province of Noord-Brabant'

Christophe van der Maat, member of the Provincial Executive of the Province of Noord-Brabant: ‘I am happy with the role the province was able to play in the smart financing of these new, clean buses. Public transport is under pressure due to the impact of the corona crisis, but this way we help one another keep our collective sustainability targets intact. The best part is that these buses are made in Brabant. This considerable investment is good for passengers, Hermes, VDL and the province.’

The new generation of VDL Citea buses, in four different lengths, meets all possible market demands: every model offers a solution without any compromises in terms of sustainability, technology, range, passenger comfort and capacity, ergonomics, flexibility, safety and Total Cost of Ownership. The new generation of Citea buses is equipped with the Brainport package, especially for Hermes. This package includes, for example, safety systems, such as Forward Collision Warning and Blind Spot Detection systems. However, the interior design and the special lighting in the bus also make the vehicles unique. This way, each and every one of these buses will function as a flagship for the Hermes bus fleet in Eindhoven. Naturally, the electric VDL Citea buses are also equipped with measures designed to reduce the spread of viruses, such as the coronavirus. This includes filtering systems, antibacterial coatings and measures to protect the driver.

Battery pack integrated into the floor

In the new generation of VDL Citea buses, the battery packs are integrated into the floor as a standard feature. This provides more passenger room, up to a maximum of 110 passengers in a 12.2-metre bus. VDL Bus & Coach has developed a composite, single-piece sidewall for the new generation of electric city buses. This sidewall results in fewer vibrations and reduces noise pollution, which contributes to passenger comfort.

Furthermore, the sidewall improves the insulation of the bus, thereby reducing the need for cooling and heating. In addition, the composite sidewall construction is 15% lighter than a conventional sidewall.

The design of an optimal driver’s cabin has been given high priority in the new generation of Citea buses. After all, this is the driver’s workplace for the entire day. This is why no concessions have been made to ergonomics, ease of operation, comfort and safety. The improved driver’s cabin in the new generation of Citea buses has been tested on multiple occasions by knowledge centres and sector organisations.

100 million electrically driven kilometres

VDL Groep has grown into one of the most important players in Europe in the field of e-mobility. VDL has been active in the field of electric transport for over 25 years. Since the introduction of the first VDL Citea SLF-120 Electric bus in Geneva, during the UITP Mobility & City Transport trade fair in 2013, VDL Bus & Coach has strongly focused on electric mobility. Today, with almost 800 buses in 10 countries, driving more than 135,000 kilometres each day in many European cities and regions, the magic boundary of 100 million electrically driven kilometres has been reached.