Flanders' Leading Public Transportation Agency goes BYD

Author: BenCham Shanghai


Image: Sustainable-Bus.com

The Benelux Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai brings attention to the significant strides made by the Flemish public transport company, De Lijn, as it finalizes a landmark framework agreement with BYD Europe for the procurement of up to 500 electric 12-meter buses. The first installment of this groundbreaking deal encompasses an order of 92 units, setting the stage for a transformative shift in public transportation.

Scheduled for delivery from BYD's Hungarian facilities starting in 2025, the initial order holds a substantial investment volume exceeding 43 million euros. Ann Schoubs, CEO of De Lijn, emphasized the company's commitment to environmental sustainability, stating, "With this order, De Lijn is consistently pursuing the greening of its fleet with the aim of offering completely emission-free public transport by 2035."

De Lijn's selection of BYD as a strategic partner is aligned with the pursuit of customer-centric transportation solutions. The 12-meter BYD buses are poised to feature a range of "customer-friendly features," including USB charging points, an electric ramp, extra-wide screens, LED lighting, and seats crafted from recycled leather. While specific details on the ordered vehicles remain undisclosed, the emphasis on passenger comfort and eco-conscious design is evident.

This framework agreement forms a crucial part of De Lijn's comprehensive procurement strategy initiated in March 2022, with plans to acquire up to 1,250 electric buses ranging from 8.5 to 24 meters in length. Notably, De Lijn strategically retains the flexibility to leverage both the BYD agreement and a prior collaboration with Van Hool and VDL from 2021 for future orders of standard electric buses. The latter involves 60 fixed 12-meter electric buses currently in the process of commissioning, with an additional 17 ordered from VDL.

Further strengthening its commitment to sustainable mobility, De Lijn extended its collaboration beyond BYD, engaging Iveco at the beginning of 2023. The framework agreement with Iveco aims to deliver up to 500 electric buses by 2030, initially comprising a firm order for 65 fully electric articulated buses. The current update indicates an increased order of 109 e-buses from Iveco, along with an additional six electric midibuses from the Scandinavian supplier Yes-EU.

De Lijn's ambitious vision to achieve completely emission-free public transport by 2035 extends beyond electrifying its bus fleet. The company plans to enhance environmental sustainability by "making around 50 depots environmentally friendly," aligning its infrastructure with its eco-conscious transportation initiatives.

As De Lijn forges ahead with these pioneering efforts, the Benelux Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai recognizes the strategic importance of such collaborations, contributing to the evolution of sustainable and innovative transportation solutions in the European market. The BYD partnership stands as a testament to the progressive steps taken by De Lijn in shaping the future of public transit.


Sources: electrive.com

Author: Jonathan Xu