Flanders is making big steps towards a greener future with the latest investment by the Flemish Transport Company De Lijn in electric public transport. In a drive to achieve a completely emission-free fleet by 2035, De Lijn has signed an agreement with Iveco for the supply of 44 articulated electric buses. This order, worth more than 33 million euros, underlines the commitment to climate objectives and the vision of sustainable mobility.
Flemish Minister of Mobility, Lydia Peeters, emphasizes the positive impact of this decision, which not only benefits the environment but also improves air quality and reduces noise pollution. The minister also talks about converting depots to facilitate these new buses and support the associated charging infrastructure.
De Lijn, which also invests in modern facilities for increased travel comfort and safety, expects the new buses to be delivered in the first quarter of 2025. Ann Schoubs, director general of De Lijn, explains that, in addition to being environmentally friendly, the new vehicles will also be equipped with the latest passenger facilities. Paul Mechele, Business Director of Iveco Bus in the Benelux, expresses his enthusiasm about the growing industrial presence of electric bus production in Europe.
This decision by De Lijn goes hand in hand with its role as one of the largest employers in the country and promotes the transition to an integrated system of combined mobility. With an annual service to millions of users and an extensive network, this step marks a milestone for De Lijn and Flemish public transport.
“With this additional order, the greening of the fleet continues,” says Ann Schoubs, director general of De Lijn. The continued commitment to greening the fleet is reflected not only in the purchase of new buses but also in the expansion and adaptation of the existing infrastructure. The modern buses will be equipped with facilities that ensure comfort and accessibility, such as USB chargers, wide information screens, an electric ramp for wheelchair users, and seats upholstered in recycled leather.
“For example, the transport company only buys fully electric buses, and its operators are also fully committed to greening their bus fleet. This transition has a great advantage for both the climate and health. An additional advantage is that e-buses are also very quiet. The recently proposed draft investment plan for 2024 once again provided more than 300 million euros in investment resources for De Lijn, including for further greening,” said Minister Peeters.