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Electric buses are the solution for the future

Large  Small Date:2019-10-09  Author:Hans Bekkers
Note: Alternative drivelines is a rather catch-all term which contains a wide range of variants. In the case of VDL Bus & Coach, the emphasis for city buses is on full-electric drivelines
Alternative drivelines is a rather catch-all term which contains a wide range of variants. In the case of VDL Bus & Coach, the emphasis for city buses is on full-electric drivelines. Main reason for this decision is the fact that electric drivelines offer the best TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) with the highest efficiency amongst all the alternatives for an internal combustion engine driveline, reducing the waste of energy to a maximum.
But electric drivelines also offer some other significant advantages. Local residents benefit largely from a transition to electric drivelines as they emit no local NOx, PM or greenhouse gases when driving through a city. Furthermore they contribute to quality of life due to the significant reduction of sound emissions. Passengers and drivers applaud the smooth and comfortable driving characteristics, with the latter reporting that they experience less tiredness after finishing their service on an electric bus. And although some people like to point to the emissions emitted during the production of the electricity that they use, electric buses do allow for their energy to be generated through a completely sustainable fashion such as solar-, wind- or hydropower energy.
The speed of the transition ahead of us, is up to all of us in the public transport industry. To some, the change in driveline might seem insignificant, but reality is that the impact is high. The introduction of e-mobility introduces a number of new stakeholders in the decision making process such as energy suppliers, grid owners and installation companies. Currently electric buses can be 1,5-2x as expensive as their diesel counterparts and although they make up for this cost deficit throughout their lifetime through operational expenditures, this is a reality which we all together need to address. This transition requires us to be creative and flexible in our approach. Even long-standing definitions such as contract-lengths or operational timetables should be re-evaluated in order to reduce financial risks and operational impact Fact is however that the end of the diesel driveline in city bus operations is imminent and that it is therefore essential to start with electric buses and gain knowledge, so the decisions you have to make tomorrow can be based on your own experience rather than hear-say.
With over 40 million kilometer on operational experience with electric buses, we at VDL Bus & Coach are confident that electric buses are the most reliable, efficient and cost-effective alternative to the diesel driveline. By the time the children of our children will ask us why there is a cloud behind their parents sketch of a bus, we will know we’ve brought this transition to a success.
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