The first Flemish electric buses drive around... in Leuven

10/09/2020

This morning, Flemish Minister of Mobility Lydia Peeters presented the first electric buses of De Lijn in Leuven. From September, six fully electric buses (e-bus) will run on the route of line 2, Kessel-Lo - Heverlee.

In Leuven, De Lijn already has one of the 'greenest' bus fleets in Flanders, with a percentage of hybrid buses exceeding 60 percent. As of today, six fully electric buses will be deployed on line 2 (Heverlee - Kessel-Lo), thanks to good cooperation with the city of Leuven, KU Leuven, grid manager Fluvius, technology company ABB and bus constructor VDL.

At the Heverlee Campus Arenberg bus stop, a charging point has been built on the KU Leuven site: this is where fast charging (opportunity charging) takes place. The Leuven Noord depot of De Lijn was also equipped with charging infrastructure (depot charging): here the buses are fully charged at night.

"Leuven's ambition is to take the lead in climate policy and modern mobility. High-performance and sustainable public transport is part of our climate strategy, which we realize with partners from all parts of our city. De Lijn is a powerful and active partner in this endeavour. I am therefore very pleased with this greening of De Lijn's fleet in Leuven. Let's continue to work together on public transport of the future", says Mohamed Ridouani, mayor of Leuven.

Later this year, this pilot project will be further extended to Antwerp. After that, De Lijn also foresees a project in Ghent. The aim of these start-up projects is not only to test the different ways of charging in practice, but also to gain experience for the drivers, driving school, dispatching, and technicians. In this way, De Lijn is preparing for the planned large-scale transition to electric public transport in Flanders.

De Lijn is optimalizing its vehicle fleet and is thus endorsing the European and Flemish climate objectives, as well as the climate plans of the various cities and provinces.

"In order to realize the climate objectives, we need to fully draw the map of sustainable travel in Flanders. We must work towards a smoother, safer and more environmentally friendly transport system. The greening of De Lijn's fleet, with an initial focus on the city centers, contributes to this objective. With the operation of these 6 e-buses in Leuven, we are taking a first important step towards this large-scale greening", says Lydia Peeters, Flemish Minister of Mobility and Public Works.

The new electric buses are modern, comfortable vehicles with plenty of space and easy access for all travellers. In addition, the e-buses use no fossil fuel and emit absolutely nothing. This means: no harmful substances such as CO2 (causes greenhouse gases), NOx (acid rain, harmful to health) and fine dust (harmful to the heart and respiratory tract). This is a great advantage for the climate as well as for the health of those who are in or around the bus. An additional advantage is that electric buses, due to the absence of a diesel engine, are also very quiet.

Because De Lijn only buys green electricity, there are no emissions during the production of the energy. Due to the use of electric buses, De Lijn will eventually consume more than 40% less diesel. This is a decrease of 19 million liters of diesel per year. As a result, De Lijn buses will emit 50,000 tons less CO2 every year.


Source: Leuven 2030 / De Lijn
Translated by Leuven MindGate