VDL Bus Roulers is looking to hire additional staff to keep up with the demand for its electric buses in Europe. The bus manufacturing company, a subsidiary of the Dutch industrial giant VDL, is located in West Flanders. Its electric buses are exported all over Europe. With demand rising, it is now seeking to hire 50 workers to add to its staff of 600 employees and plans to recruit more at the end of the year.
VDL Bus Roulers started making electric buses through necessity. The market for the classic diesel-powered buses had come under heavy competition from Eastern European manufacturers, prompting VDL to switch to rapid-charging electric buses, becoming one of the first companies in Europe to do so.
“Buses are ideal for using electricity, says VDL Bus Roulers Director-General Peter Wouters. “The batteries and charging systems can be installed on the roof. Buses always take the same routes and can recharge easily at their terminus.”
The switch to silent vehicles with zero CO2 emissions may have cost “blood, sweat and tears”, Wouters admits, but the company has had increasing success with the sale of its electric buses throughout Europe.
In late May, it received an order for 40 such buses from Oslo, Norway, and another for 25 buses from the town of Umea in Sweden. Other orders have come from Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands and, this week, De Lijn in Belgium said it would order electric buses from VDL.