First fleet of public e-buses in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is set to welcome its first fleet of electric buses onto the city's public transport network. 31 new battery-powered buses have been purchased by Amsterdam transport firm GVB, and plan to launch them on the city’s streets in 2020. The company purchased the fleet of zero-emission buses from vehicle manufacturer VDL Bus & Coach this week, with an option to buy a further 69 vehicles in the future. The new vehicles will service the 15, 22 and 36 lines which operate from the city’s Sloterdijk terminus. Buses operating on these three bus lines drive about 42,000 km every week, and so the move is expected to save more than 500 tonnes of CO2-emissions per year. Eventually, GVB says it hopes to replace its entire 200-strong bus fleet with electric vehicles.
Amsterdam aims for emission-free traffic by 2025
In a statement the City of Amsterdam, Vervoerregio Amsterdam (Transport Region Amsterdam) and the GVB said that the new investment was an important step towards emission-free public transport in Amsterdam. Alderperson Sharon Dijksma, responsible for traffic and transport, said: “We have the ambition to have as much emission-free traffic in the city by 2025 as possible. Buses have to be emission-free by that time. The purchase of these 31 completely zero-emission buses is a great first step towards that goal. It means more peace and quiet on the streets where these buses go and cleaner air for the neighbourhoods through which they drive.”
Photo: an electric bus at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Improving air quality and liveability in the city
This first batch of electric buses will use opportunity charging, in which the buses’ battery packs are loaded into the garage via parking loaders at night, and recharged by fast chargers at charging points in the day. This technique is seen as the most suitable and affordable for Amsterdam. The move is part of wider schemes and agreements that the City of Amsterdam, Vervoerregio Amsterdam and GVB are working on to introduce emission-free buses in Amsterdam to help further improve air quality and liveability in the city. As part of that plan, no new diesel buses will be allowed to enter operation in Amsterdam after 2025, and all public transport buses in operation will have to be emissions free by 2030.
Earlier this year the Netherlands took the top spot on KPMG’s 2018 Autonomous Vehicles Readiness Index, due to the country’s renowned digital connectivity, acceptance of EVs and large number of charging stations. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol also launched a new fleet of 100 battery-powered buses and is aiming to increase its fleet to more than 258 vehicles by 2021.