The media has paid attention several times to the possible negative consequences of the battery capacity of the electric buses of Connexxion, including in de Volkskrant. According to Connexxion, the problems are much more nuanced, which they explained in an article on the website.
According to the Volkskrant, the biggest handicap of the e-bus is its limited range. On paper he can cover 200 kilometers with fully charged batteries. But the battery will drain faster in cold weather when the heater is turned on. Connexxion maintains a range of 72 kilometers to prevent a bus with empty batteries from being parked at all times. This means that journeys have to be shortened, so travelers often have to change trains.
“The heating capacity is insufficient and the battery drains extra. Buses are already regularly stopping due to empty batteries and, for example, in the event of a fire in a charging station, half the fleet can fail for a long time. ”
In the response of Connexxion they report that clients of public transport in the Netherlands are taking solid steps with the green deal Zero Emission to make public transport more sustainable compared to other countries. Diesel buses will no longer be allowed to enter from 2025 and after 2030 they will no longer be visible in the street.
“Transdev Netherlands, Connexxion's parent company, has the ambition to be a forerunner in this respect. First in Eindhoven with 43 buses and then in Amstelland-Meerlanden with 100 buses. By being a pioneer, the environment is the first to benefit from the advantages in terms of less emissions, liveability and comfort for residents and travelers. [..] The battery characteristic, including capacity, is developing rapidly, but the buses already delivered do not benefit from this development. ”
Connexxion reports that the range of these buses is a fact that they use in the transport plans that are made:
“We do this in a way that, contrary to what the article in de Volkskrant suggests, does not stop. This has hardly happened since the inflow of these vehicles. When building every Transport Plan, we start from the transport demand from the travelers. By building up the transport plan in this way, and playing around with the range, we prevent possible dropouts with negative consequences for travelers. This is also the range with which the buses are scheduled in the current Transport Plan. ”
The moving electric buses have also had to deal with external factors that caused them to travel longer distances:
“In this area, however, we are dealing with various diversions with a significant impact on the timetable, due to various activities in and around Amsterdam and the Zuidas mobility hub. Instead, we make adjustments to avoid inconvenience to our travelers, as in all cases where we adjust timetables. ”
For the future, Connexxion sees that the development of the battery is going fast. The tendering process in this region indicated that the diesel buses will be replaced by new electric vehicles.
“We also see that we can take advantage of the benefits of the further development of the battery. Here we are looking for the best choice for this transport area, focusing on transport demand, range and battery life. ”