The conversion of Brussels public transport company STIB's buses to an electric fleet is gaining momentum as four new lines for electric, articulated buses will be implemented within the next two years.
After the Pannenhuis stop, STIB has just been authorised to install six additional charging stations near Westland Shopping in the Brussels municipality of Anderlecht.
"To continue the transformation to an electric fleet, we need to equip the bus network with additional charging posts for the future electric articulated buses," STIB's CEO Brieuc de Meeûs said in a press release.
"Six new posts will be installed at the Moortebeek and Westland terminus next to Westland Shopping in Anderlecht. This terminus receives lines 46, 53 and 89." The works will start in 2023 and should be completed by mid-2024.
Fully electric fleet by 2035
Thanks to these charging stations, STIB will be able to operate these three lines with articulated electric buses by 2025. A total of 18 terminus points will be equipped with charging posts by the time the fleet is fully electric. STIB has already received the licence for line 46 at Pannenhuis. Other places will follow as the conversion to an electric fleet and the permits are obtained.
STIB currently operates three types of electric buses: midi buses, standard buses and articulated buses. The batteries of midi and standard buses are charged when the vehicles are in the depot. Articulated electric buses also need to be charged at the depot, as well as on the network, during their operation – which requires the installation of charging posts at terminus points.
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In April 2019, STIB installed the first four charging posts at the terminus of line 64 Naamsepoort/Porte de Namur (two posts), and at the entrance to the Haren depot (two posts). The charging time at the terminus takes only a few minutes and allows a range of 30 to 40 km, which is more than sufficient for the normal operation of a bus line.
In addition to line 64, STIB will operate four more lines with articulated electric buses from 2025: lines 46 (Pannenhuis - Moortebeek), 53 (Marly - Westland Shopping Center), 87 (Simonis - Beekkant) and 89 (Central Station - Westland Shopping Center).
Other lines will follow between 2027 and 2029, and all bus lines served by articulated buses will be electric by the end of 2035, when STIB wants to have replaced its entire fleet with electric buses. The company currently has seven electric midi buses, five electric standard buses, 25 electric articulated buses, 402 hybrid and 411 diesel buses.