Brussels’ public transport operator, STIB, has awarded an order for 70 electric articulated buses to EvoBus, which are set to be delivered from 2024. These new vehicles, model Mercedes eCitaro, will not only replace the Euro 5 buses but will also expand the STIB fleet.

The first STIB electric buses arrived on the Brussels network in 2018 and 2019. Currently, 37 full electric buses are on the streets of Brussels. This new order of 70 electric articulated buses allows the STIB to move up a gear with a view to the complete electrification of its entire bus fleet by 2035. Today the fleet is made of 860 buses.

Mercedes eCitaro in Brussels thanks to EIB

This acquisition is part of the loan granted by the European Investment Bank to the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region, and the purchase of around further 20 standard electric buses is also planned within this budgetary envelope.

The buses ordered are of the ‘opportunity charging‘ type. In other words, their batteries can be recharged at night, at the depot, but also during the day, at the terminals. In order to supply these buses with electricity, the STIB must adapt its depots, but also install charging stations on the network, the carrier points out.

New depots for STIB Brussels

In early 2023, the STIB obtained the planning and environmental permits for the construction of a new bus depot on Avenue du Tyras, next to the existing “Marly” site. “Marly II” will be the first STIB depot designed 100% for electric buses.

The contract for the chargers in the depots was awarded to Heliox, while the contract for Smart Charging, a system to optimize bus charging, was awarded to INIT. The award of the contract for terminal chargers is scheduled for May of this year.

“This order is an important milestone in the transition of the STIB towards the total electrification of its bus fleet and for the improvement of passenger comfort,” said Brieuc de Meeûs, CEO of STIB. “Together, all STIB employees, from purchasing to driving staff, technical teams, and training centres, are preparing for the future to continue to make Brussels more and more breathable and to offer a quality service to our passengers, with state-of-the-art vehicles.”

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