The Finnish bus company Oy Pohjolan Liikenne Ab and VDL Bus & Coach sign on a further boost to green public transport in Finland, with 25 VDL Citea New Generation, based on electric drivetrains and with state-of-the-art features, to join the fleet in the port city of Kotka. They will also serve as regional transport to the neighbouring town of Hamina.
This is the first large series of new generation Citeas that VDL Bus & Coach has sold abroad, in addition to one new generation VDL Citea also ordered by Lahti, Finland. This order will follow that of Dutch public transport company Hermes, which will deploy 32 new generation LF-122 type VDL Citeas in the first quarter of next year in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Production of Kotka’s new buses will begin in late 2022 and will be delivered in 2023.
Electric public transport in Finland
With the addition of these 25 Citeas, Oy Pohjolan Liikenne Ab expands its VDL fleet to almost 200 vehicles. Sami Ojamo, Managing Director of VDL Bus & Coach Finland, said: “The transition to electric and sustainable public transport in Finland continues at an exponential pace. Our long- standing, valued customer is a great example of this trend. Early in 2019, they ordered their first five electric Citeas from VDL Bus & Coach. Now, they have purchased from our latest generation of city buses. The addition to their fleet substantiates their position as a frontrunner in e-mobility in Finland. We look forward to seeing the new generation of Citeas in Kotka and operating in the Nordic market.”
The port city of Kotka is located in southern Finland, about 130 kilometres from the capital Helsinki. The 25 new generation Citeas will be used in city traffic and on regional services to Hamina, which lies 20 kilometres to the east. At present, this line mainly operates using LLE Diesel Citeas, but this route will soon be covered by emission-free, LE-122 type VDL Citeas of the new generation. With its 490kWh battery pack and 39+4+1 seats, the 12.2-metre Low Entry is well suited to both city and regional transport.
Heikki Alanko, Managing Director of Oy Pohjolan Liikenne Ab, said: “We strive to be the leading operator in the transition to zero emission public transport in Finland. These new state-of-the-art, long-range VDL buses will make it possible for us to operate more efficiently than ever before. We are delighted with the new generation VDL Citeas; their core innovative characteristics will allow us to enhance passengers’ travel experience and provide the best possible working environment to our drivers.