De Lijn announces it is rolling out the first new generation electric buses by VDL into service from its Destelbergen depot on 1 July. The first 5 of 24 e-buses from VDL will strengthen the Flemish Transport Company’s electric fleet in the Ghent region. Order dates back to late 2021.

The very first models from new generation series Citea were launched in Eindhoven recently. The model was launched in September 2022 and the buses are set to be produced in the new plant in Roeselare, Belgium

de lijn vdl citea new generation

VDL new generation Citea in delivery, finally…

With an all-electric powertrain, where battery packs are installed in the floor and motors are integrated into the wheels, there is room for up to 92 passengers on board.

Maximum battery capacity is 490 kWh, with the kWh exceeding 306 put on the roof. Battery modules are assembled in-house by the VDL group. Formula is NMC, supplier not mentioned. What is interesting is passenger capacity: 110 people can be welcomed on the version with standard battery capacity.

De Lijn only buys green electricity

“The first five e-buses from VDL will be put into service from 1 July from the Destelbergen depot. This depot expects five more e-buses in the coming weeks and months, the remaining 14 vehicles of this order from VDL will be deployed from the Sint-Niklaas depot. Last legislature, we effectively initiated the greening of the bus fleet at De Lijn. The additional investment funds that were provided enabled the transport company to place several orders. E-buses consume no fossil fuel and emit nothing at all. This is a great advantage both for the climate and for the health of those in or around the bus. In addition, De Lijn only buys green electricity, so there are no emissions when the energy is produced either. It is necessary to continue this transition and provide the necessary resources for it,” said outgoing Flemish Minister for Mobility and Public Works Lydia Peeters.

de lijn vdl citea new generation

“We are particularly pleased that we can also let our customers enjoy the new generation of e-buses in the Ghent region,” says Ann Schoubs, director general of De Lijn. “Just like all other e-buses, they have many assets that increase passenger comfort, such as USB charging points for smartphones, extra-wide info screens with stop information, electrically operated ramps for less mobile travellers, seats with recycled leather, wood-look flooring and improved ventilation. But the safety and comfort of our drivers has also been considered. The e-buses are equipped with safety features that would not be out of place in the most modern cars, such as cameras instead of mirrors and multiple detection systems to notice pedestrians and cyclists. Special attention has been paid to the driver’s position, which has its own air conditioning and a heated and ventilated seat.”

Elsie Sierens, mayor of the municipality of Destelbergen, added: “The fact that public transport is taking a sustainable path and opting for electrification fits in perfectly with the objectives of the Covenant of Mayors and the Local Energy and Climate Pact. That we can offer a first in Destelbergen, namely that the first VDL e-buses will serve the region from here, pleases us all the more.”


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