Van Hool has signed a contract with Qbuzz Netherlands for the supply of 54 battery-electric Van Hool A15LE E buses. Qbuzz will employ these new buses in regional passenger transport in the provinces of Groningen and Drenthe as from the last quarter of 2024. The order is part of a larger contingent of the purchase of 153 buses issued by the public transport authority in the region, Groningen Drenthe.
The public transport authority and Qbuzz are to replace 158 HVO diesel buses by electric buses between 2024 and 2026. At the moment there are already 196 emission-free buses, electric and hydrogen-powered. With the replacement almost 90% of all buses in the region will run on “clean energy”. Groningen Drenthe calls this a major step towards achieving the sustainability ambitions: completely emission-free bus transport in 2030. Filip Van Hool, CEO at Van Hool: “This order confirms the confidence Qbuzz has in Van Hool. Qbuzz previously ordered 9 Van Hool Astromega TDX27 double-deckers and 30 hydrogen buses for use in regular passenger transport.” Qbuzz is replacing its existing fleet of Qliner buses with this 100% zero-emission battery-electric Van Hool bus. Dirk Huzeling, Bid Manager at Qbuzz: “We were facing a major challenge when
opting to replace our current fleet of Qliner buses, which have amply proved their worth. We definitely wanted to go green and so the option of a 100% zero-emission bus was quickly floated. Because of the specificity of the Qliner network in Groningen-Drenthe and its longer-distance, intercity connections and high average speed, we opted for the long 15-metre buses with 55 comfortable seats for passengers and a large working radius. The seats have seatbelts, USB charging points, footrests and folding tables. Passengers can stow their luggage in the luggage racks. All buses will be equipped with mirror cameras for the driver and three monitors for route information for passengers as well as having a manual wheelchair ramp to allow access for disabled people.”
Van Hool, founded in 1947, has in the city Koningshooikt (Lier) in Belgium besides the factory also the technological knowledge centre. Filip van Hool: “Continuously we invest in Research and Development of new products. We build the prototypes, pre-series and high-value-added vehicles here and these are almost always tailor-made to the customer's requirements.” Van Hool has over 2,500 employees worldwide, most of them at its production sites in Koningshooikt (Belgium) and Skopje (northern Macedonia).