Hybrid buses are better for the environment, but they often break down, according to a balance sheet of Tec Namur Luxembourg’s 46 hybrid buses after three years of operation.
“In cumulative kilometres, our new buses have already covered more than 4 million kilometres,” said Jean-Marc Evrard, the Executive Director of Tec, reports RTBF. “That’s 100 times around the world! The environmental record is good. On average, our hybrid buses run on electricity 60% of the time, representing almost 28,000 litres of diesel saved per month,” he added.
“We installed seven of the 11 charging stations that were originally planned,” said Evrard, adding that the last four stations have been delayed for various reasons.
“At Beez (a small part of the city of Namur), for example, we are hitting difficulties with the permit, because the 12,000-volt station would be located in a flood zone, and the Region, for the moment, refuses to give us the green light. But with four more pantographs, we could reach our goal: hybrid buses running on electricity 70% of the time,” Evrard added.
However, as the new buses often break down, reliability is the main drawback. Additionally, the repairs are very time-consuming, mainly because of the difficulty to obtain certain spare parts, reports DHnet.
“Out of the fleet of 46 hybrid buses, about ten are in the garage for repairs, on average. That’s a lot, and it is really starting to cause us operational problems,” he added.
The Brussels Times