Two Finnish cities have ordered a total of 31 11.5 meter e-buses to the Dutch producer VDL Bus & Coach. 13 vehicles will be in operation in Kuopio, 28 in Lahti. The model involved in the order is the Citea LLE-115 Electric.
Recently, also in the Finnish market, a large order for 106 e-buses has been awarded to the Chinese company BYD. In the Scandinavian region e-bus deployment is highly increasing.
31 VDL e-buses for Kuopio and Lahti
13 Citeas LLE Electric will be delivered to Kuopion Liikenne Oy which provides public transport in Kuopio, a city in the interior of Finland. In Lahti (located approximately a hundred kilometres north of the capital Helsinki), 18 Citeas LLE Electric will be put into operation under Koiviston Auto Oy’s livery. Both operators belong to the family-owned Koiviston Auto Group.
The Citea Light Low Entry Electric is a low-entry, lightweight concept specially designed for the demanding conditions of urban and regional transport. The innovative construction method results in a very low weight with major advantages, such as the lowest energy consumption in its class as well as low maintenance costs, the manufacturer points out. The Citeas in Lahti and Kuopio are equipped with a 35+4 seating arrangement, with space for one wheelchair or two prams. The buses are equipped with a High Energy 282kWh battery pack, for charging with CCS2 socket in Kuopio and a roof mounted pantograph in Lahti. The low temperatures in winter place high demands on the vehicles. The VDL High Energy batteries belong to the new battery range launched by VDL in February 2020.
Finland, rapid transition to electric transport
According to Managing Director Sami Ojamo of VDL Bus & Coach Finland, the delivery of a total of 31 Citeas LLE-115 Electric demonstrates that “electric buses are also a viable option in medium-sized cities. We are seeing a rapid transition to electric and sustainable public transport in Finland. It is a privilege to support our long-standing customer in this transition. This step means that we are able to strengthen our position as one of the leading suppliers in Finland even further.”
These 31 buses see the total number of Citeas LLE delivered by VDL Bus & Coach to Koiviston Auto Group exceed 200. “This has further deepened the strong cooperation we have had for years with VDL Bus & Coach, the European market leader in the field of electric buses”, says Antti Unkuri, CEO Koiviston Auto Group. “We are both family businesses, relying on the same standards and values. Especially in these early stages of e-mobility in public transport the support of VDL is valuable to us.”