VDL Bus & Coach has tested a New Generation Citea LF 122 in what the company calls 'the MaxiMile Challenge'. A test in line with SORT-2 deployment. The targets set for this test in realistic operating conditions: more than 24 hours of continuous driving, covering a distance of more than 500 kilometres. These targets were as VDL Bus & Coach states "amply achieved with 546.7 kilometres in 26 hours and 14 minutes".
The LF 122, with a 490 kWh battery pack on board, was loaded to 16,500 kilograms to simulate a realistic number of passengers. Most routes of 'the MaxiMile Challenge' were run on a SORT-2 deployment and some routes on SORT-1 and SORT-3, to arrive at an average SORT-2 deployment as VDL explains. The vehicle stopped at all bus stops along the routes. The test also specifies driver changeovers at Eindhoven Station after four consecutive hours of driving. These were the warmest days of late summer; on 10 and 11 September, it was around 30 degrees Celsius during the day, dropping to 21 degrees Celsius at night. The test started at VDL Bus & Coach at De Vest in Valkenswaard at 1 pm on 10 September. At the first driver changeover at 5pm on 10 September, the new generation Citea had covered a distance of 74 kilometres while the battery status was 87%. At 9pm, this was 146 kilometres with a battery capacity of 72%. At 1am on 11 September, the distance was 222 kilometres and battery charge of 57%. The next driver change was performed at 5am
with 302 kilometres on the odometer and a battery charge of 44%; at 9am, the battery capacity was at 30% with 374 kilometres driven. At 1pm, the 24-hour target was met, with the last driver changeover taking place with 12% remaining battery charge and a distance of 471 kilometres. At around 3pm, the new generation Citea drove onto the premises of VDL Bus & Coach in Valkenswaard with just 3% left in the battery. By the time the test ended at 3.14pm, the vehicle had covered a distance of 546.7 kilometres over a total of 26 hours and 14 minutes. This involved a total average of 1.4 stops per kilometre and an average speed of 20.84 kilometres per hour. Achieving a distance of nearly 550 kilometres, without interim charging, on tropical late summer days and with a simulated load, shows that the new generation Citea does what it promises as VDL Bus & Coach proudly states in its press release.
Watch 'the MaxiMile Challenge' here (video)