29th of November 2019: Today marks a new era for the concession Groningen/Drenthe. 164 full electric busses will be operational: 45 Citea’s from VDL Bus & Coach, 59 Q-link from Heuliez, and 60 Ebusco 2.2 busses. This is, to date, the largest introduction of electric busses in one go. Heliox’s charging infrastructure will be the backbone of the busses driving around.
As a result of successful cooperation with all partners involved, the charging infrastructure has been put into place. The installation work included a vast majority of construction work. Platforms had to be adjusted, transformer stations to be constructed, extensive cabling and the construction of the charging poles had to be installed.
Apart from the size of the bus fleet and the turnkey aspect of this project, this go-live demonstrates more achievements:
The largest implementation in size: 21 charging locations in total
In total 15 new charging locations have been added to the two existing ones. 23 new opportunity charging (300 & 450kW) and 4 depot charging locations in Groningen, Emmen, and Assen have been created.
The largest regional network of e-busses in the Netherlands
The network of e-busses covers public transport in the city of Groningen but also takes care of regional transit. This means that busses that drive on regional lines at larger distances are enabled to charge at intermediary stops with opportunity charging.
Interoperability between charging interface and 3 different bus brands
In this concession, the decision was made to go for two different kinds of interfaces: depot charging via CCS and opportunity charging via pantograph (Bus-Up system). Interoperability between multiple bus brands was therefore a key requirement for Heliox’s charging infrastructure. Being able to comply, assures optimal charging times and maximum availability of the entire e-fleet. As a result, Heuliez and VDL busses are being charged via pantograph, Ebusco, and VDL via CCS.
“Heliox is proud to be part of yet another project which changes the charging infrastructure landscape in the Netherlands,” says Koen van Haperen, CCO of Heliox. “As Qbuzz stated earlier, with the inauguration of this project, CO2 emissions with regards to public transport will be reduced by 90% (in comparison to the current concession). Heliox is delighted to be able to contribute to the zero-emission goals in public transport in the northern part of the Netherlands.”
Gerrit Spijksma, CEO of Qbuzz adds; “Heliox and other partners, have played an important role in meeting the deadline and making the concession go live. The flexibility of all partners involved within the relatively short time- span, is a great accomplishment”.
Heliox is further pushing the limits of e-mobility to contribute to a sustainable future for the next generations.