Delivery VDL Citea SLFA-180 Electric to KVB

On Monday 26 October 2015 the first fully electric articulated bus, the Citea SLFA-180 Electric, was delivered to Kölner Verkehrs-Betriebe AG (KVB). North Rhine-Westphalia State Minister for Transport Mr Michael Groschek, KVB Chairman Mr Jürgen Fenske, KVB Board Member for Technology Mr Jörn Schwarze and Managing Director VDL Bus & Coach Rémi Henkemans officially presented the new city buses that will be put in service by KVB. "We are very much looking forward to seeing the buses in service in Cologne and I'm already looking forward to my next visit to Cologne", said Rémi Henkemans, Managing Director VDL Bus & Coach.

Copyryight: Fotostudio Heupel
From left to right: Boris Höltermann (Sales Manager Public Transport VDL Bus & Coach Deutschland GmbH), Jörn Schwarze (KVB Board Member for Technology), Rémi Henkemans (Managing Director VDL Bus & Coach bv), Michael Groschek (North Rhine-Westphalia State Minister for Transport), Jürgen Fenske (KVB Chairman) 

Expanded Citea Electric range
The Citea SLFA Electric represents an important step in the expansion of VDL Bus & Coach’s electric bus range. Besides having several electric drives, battery packs and charging systems to choose from, so the ideal, optimal combination for any application can be put together, a length variant and a new exterior design have now been added, without affecting accessibility, interior layout or comfort. The VDL Citea SLFA Electric that was presented in Cologne is the first in a series of eight buses ordered by the Cologne passenger transport company KVB (Kölner Verkehrs-Betriebe). This electric articulated bus is fitted with an opportunity charge system. 

VDL Citea SLFA Electric
The VDL Citea SLFA Electric is an electric articulated bus that runs entirely on electricity without any aids. This means that unlike hybrid buses it requires no diesel engine and unlike trolleys it needs no pantograph to continuously supply it with power. The VDL Citea SLFA Electric admittedly has a pantograph, but it is only used for a brief charge at the end of each run. When the bus makes contact with the charging station at the final stop, the batteries are charged quickly but intensely as required.

The new, innovative VDL Citea SLFA Electric combines the best features of the Citea Electric and the articulated Citea SLFA. The modular system from which the Citea range is built played a major role in the development of this electric variant. This allowed easy integration of the electric components without compromising the essential Citea qualities, such as lightweight construction, optimum accessibility and comfort. An aspect that is beneficial to both comfort and the environment is the fact that the VDL Citea Electric is very quiet, both inside and outside the bus.

The VDL Citea articulated, with its completely flat floor, is ideal for the transport of large numbers of passengers. The low floor construction makes it exceptionally easy to enter the bus and offers optimal access, for travellers with a baby buggy or wheelchair for example. This applies both to the front section of the bus and the section ‘behind the bellows’. During the design of the Citea SLFA considerable attention was given to the flow of passengers from the entry door and to the exit doors. Harmoniously matched colours give the bus a very spacious feeling. The cantilever seat design (free-hanging seats) ensures plenty of leg room and therefore optimal sitting comfort. Since the entire floor is free of obstacles, the buses are easy to clean.

Copyryight: Fotostudio Heupel

Fast charge system
The Citea SLFA Electric is fitted with a fast charge system using a pantograph made by Schunk. The pantograph is positioned on the front carriage above the 2nd axle, so passengers always have free passage near the doors. Charging is done at both final stops. The charging power is 250 kW and charging time is around 5-10 minutes. The batteries are fully charged at night.

BRT design
The new, special ‘BRT’ design gives the Citea SLFA Electric a futuristic look and feel. This manifests itself, in particular, in the rearward leaning windscreen and the characteristic roof and side line. Destination signs are integrated into the windscreen, rear window and side windows. The entry door is extra wide to facilitate entry and egress and promote passenger flow here too. Full LED lighting at the front, sides and rear provides optimal visibility under all conditions.

8 VDL Citea’s SLFA Electric for KVB
The signing of a contract between Kölner Verkehrs-Betriebe (KVB) and VDL Bus & Coach on Friday, 11 July 2014, was the starting shot for the construction of 8 electric articulated VDL buses. KVB is the first operator in Germany to introduce electric mobility for an entire bus route. VDL Bus & Coach is particularly proud of the fact that it is to deliver the new Citea SLFA Electric to KVB.

Public transport in Cologne
Electric mobility is an important development in public transport. Metropolitan electric bus transport contributes to a cleaner environment, lower energy consumption and a quieter and healthier environment. KVB sees plenty of opportunities for the future of electric mobility and mainly focuses on zero emission public transport with a large passenger capacity. The advantages for climate change and the environment are being further developed by the KVB, making the company an important partner for the city of Cologne as regards implementation of the climate and environment protection policy. When the new 2016 timetable is introduced, route 33 will be changed from diesel to completely electric. This route, which is about 7 km long and has 13 stops, connects Cologne’s railway station to the suburb of Zollstock.

Kölner Verkehrs-Betriebe AG (KVB), the fourth largest municipal passenger transport company in Germany, provides the public transport in Cologne and the surrounding area. The fleet consists of 367 trains and trams and more than 300 buses. Some 3,300 employees ensure that everything functions on the nearly 60 bus, tram and rail lines every day. More than 850,000 passengers are transported daily.

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