970 electric buses to be added on Belgian roads

970 electric buses to be added on Belgian roads
© Belga

Flemish public transport company De Lijn is looking for suppliers for 970 electric buses and the necessary charging infrastructure.

The charging station will be put into operation in phases from 2023 up to 2025.

De Lijn is asking the Flemish government to provide additional financing. The e-buses will require an investment of more than one billion euros, which is more than the currently planned investment resources.

“The realization of e-bus networks in Flanders will only succeed if all the partners involved put their shoulders to the wheel of sustainable public transport,” says Roger Kesteloot, Director-General of De Lijn.

City centers emission-free

The Flemish coalition agreement states that city centers must be operated emission-free by 2025 at the latest and that all buses in Flanders must be zero-emission by 2035.

Regular bus lines are very suitable for electric driving. Buses drive a fixed route and use their own stops so that recharging would in theory not be a problem.

However, so far pilot projects have shown that there is a problem with providing sufficiently powerful electricity connections at bus stops, reports New Mobility, which will be the challenge for the power grid operators to solve.

The problem is comparable to the lack of charging infrastructure for cars, which can also often be traced back to an outdated power grid.

That’s why suppliers must, among other things, ensure the supply and commissioning of e-buses, the associated charging infrastructure, and the connection to energy supplies.

Different types of electric buses are sought. The charging infrastructure will be located at De Lijn’s depot and at strategically chosen bus stops.

From 2020, De Lijn will search for locations for this infrastructure, together with the cities and municipalities.

The Brussels Times

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