According to the transport company De Lijn, they do not receive a permit from the city of Ghent to install charging stations. Two years ago, De Lijn announced that it would run 20 electric buses on trial in Ghent, Leuven and Antwerp. The first buses would be used by the end of this year, but not in Ghent.
Alderman of Mobility Filip Watteeuw (Groen) wants to consult with the transport company as soon as possible. It is not yet clear whether De Lijn will learn from the laborious search for suitable locations for the charging infrastructure on the Flemish public road. Variants of the purchased electric buses offer a greater range. They can then use the charging stations at the depot at night.
In Brussels, the development of an electric vehicle fleet already seems less problematic. According to that, public transport company STIB ordered VRT over 100 hybrid buses and more than 30 fully electric buses. But in Ghent it seemed impossible to find it and De Lijn says it did not get a green light for charging stations at the Ghelamco arena or the Blaarmeersen.
Remarkable, because the city has presented itself in recent years as a pioneer in sustainable mobility with a radical circulation plan. Filip Watteeuw (Green), Alderman for Mobility in Ghent, reacts surprised to De Lijn's decision.
"De Lijn never gave the signal that there was a problem with the roll-out of those charging stations," he says. "We regret that De Lijn, as the city that most explicitly opts for public transport, did not treat us as a real partner."