Brussels public transport operator STIB has approved an order for 70 articulated electric eCitaro's, to be delivered by EvoBus Belgium. The delivery of these new vehicles is planned from 2024. They replace the Euro 5 buses and expand the STIB fleet.
Although STIB awarded this purchase of 70 articulated eCitaro's, public procurement law provides for a standstill period of 15 days as STIB points out. The purchase is financed through a loan granted by the European Investment Bank to the government of the Brussels-Capital Region. Within this budget, the purchase of 20 electric solobuses is also planned for which the decision will be made September 2023. The first electric buses arrived on the Brussels network in 2018 and 2019. Currently, 37 fully electric vehicles of various sizes (midi, standard and articulated) are driving through the streets of Brussels. This order for 70 electric articulated buses allows STIB to shift into a higher gear with a view to the electrification of its entire bus fleet by 2035. The first bus of this order will be delivered in January 2024. In the first phase, the vehicle is tested and used to train STIB drivers. This phase also gives STIB the opportunity to express any wishes for modifications before the rest of the order is delivered and put into use. In addition, the planned delivery date will allow
meeting the low emission zone (LEZ) deadlines for the decommissioning of Euro 5 diesel vehicles. The ordered eCitaro's will be equipped with a pantograph for "opportunity charging" for fast charging at the end points during the day. In the night charging is done in the depot. At the beginning of 2023, STIB obtained the planning and environmental permits for the construction of a new bus depot designed 100% for electric buses. The contract for the charging stations in the depots was awarded to Jacops-Heliox. The contract for Smart Charging, to optimize the charging of buses, was awarded to INIT. The contract for the charging stations at the terminals is expected to be awarded in May 2023. STIB has a fleet of around 860 buses. In 10 years, STIB has replaced a large part of its fleet with more modern and environmentally friendly vehicles and increased its capacity by more than 30%. The aim is to have the bus fleet fully electrified by 2035.