Bordeaux Metropole has just selected VDL Bus & Coach for the supply of 36 articulated electric buses Citea new generation on the city’s first Express Bus line between Bordeaux Saint-Jean station and Saint-Aubin de Médoc. «The fast charging technology at the terminals, supplemented by slow charging at the depot, proved to be the most efficient solution», Bordeaux Metropole pointed out in a press note announcing the awarding of the project. It’ll be first VDL e-mobility project in France.

The buses are expected to be delivered in 2023 and will enter service in 2024. The very first order for the new model by VDL was signed by Eindhoven. The Citea new generation was revealed in May 2021.

Source of the picture: Mobilites Magazine

Electric buses for Bordeaux

Work has already begun in Bordeaux to implement the bus line that will be served by the new generation Citeas from the year 2024. It is a completely new operation, replacing two existing regular bus lines. Bordeaux aims to provide a reliable and high-quality public transport service for urban commuters from the commune of Saint-Aubin de Médoc, to the Saint-Jean Central railway station in the city’s historic centre. Dedicated bus lanes with traffic light prioritization are foreseen along the 21 kilometre long line. 

The previous generation of Citea electric buses has already covered more than 120 million km. The new generation chosen by Bordeaux Metropole is distinguished by its innovative design incorporating so-called “extra-flat” batteries, partly placed in the floor. These high-capacity batteries, coupled with roof-mounted pantographs and chargers at the terminals, offer a minimum range of 180 km, still the city underlines.

The contract awarded to VDL includes the supply of the 36 articulated electric vehicles that will be in operation on the future Express Bus line, as well as all the charging equipment at the terminals and depot. The company will also carry out the design and execution studies, monitor the work and install the charging equipment. The total estimated value of the contract is €40.3 million.

The e-buses have a battery pack of 552 kWh and «are extremely suitable for city transport with high level of service. The range of the new generation of Citeas has been considerably improved: the LF-181 can reach a range of up to 600 kilometres, depending on the chosen configuration», VDL says.

VDL, the first e-mobility project in France

“We are extremely proud that VDL, after a long and thorough selection process, has been selected by one of the most important metropoles in France to realize such a demanding bus line”, says Marcel Jacobs, Commercial Director of VDL Bus & Coach. “A great result for our VDL Bus & Coach sales organisation in France, where we intend to take even more important steps in the field of public transport in the near future. This is a true recognition of our qualities as a European frontrunner in e-mobility. The principles of the new Citea bus concept, which offers solutions without any compromise, fit seamlessly with the sustainable ambitions of the metropole of Bordeaux.” .

Only e-buses in the new bus range from VDL

The new Citea generation is based entirely on an electric drive train. The new Citea will be built in four length variants: 12.2 metres (Low Floor and Low Entry), 13.5 metres (LE), 14.9 metres (LE) and 18.1 metres (LF). The 13.5-metre version has two axles, which can compete with a three-axle unit in terms of seating capacity, the manufacturer says. Concerning range, «all vehicles can cover a distance of 500 to 600 kilometres during their entire period of use», VDL says. A battery capacity of 490 kWh is possible on a 12.2-metre VDL Citea.


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