VDL presented the new generation of its successful “Citea” model at an internet press conference on May 27. Originally, the new Citea was supposed to make its debut at the “Busworld” fair in Brussels in October, but this fair has meanwhile been cancelled due to the uncertain question of whether it will be able to take place at all due to Corona.
Therefore VDL decided to present the new Citea at an Internet press conference.
Externally, the new Citea is absolutely up to date. The body emphasizes the characteristic outlines of a bus, the side panels are characterized by the typical design of recent years: the “humps” above the wheel arches in line with the lower edge of the side windows.
A notable change has taken place in the drive technology of the new generation Citea, as it is now only available as an electric bus. At the presentation VDL emphasized: “The new Citea is not an electric bus derived from a diesel bus. We first thought about it back in 2015, and even then we designed it exclusively as an electric bus.” Its batteries are located neither on the roof nor in the rear part (where a diesel bus would have its engine), but they are kept very flat and are locatede under the floor of the bus. This design makes VDL a pioneer of a new technology that will become more and more popular in the construction of electric buses.
VDL confirms that the range of the vehicle is at least 250 kilometers. Under favorable conditions, it could also go much further. A range of 600 kilometers seems absolutely possible in the foreseeable future.
VDL has ensured that the new Citea has a very low unladen weight. According to VDL at the presentation, they have had experience with this for a long time. After all, the previous “Citea LLE” (light low entry) – going back to its origins as the “Berkhof Ambassador” – is also characterized by an unusually low unladen weight. VDL achieves the low weight by using a sandwich construction of plastic instead of steel for the side walls of the new Citea. And there is something else that is special: the left and right sidewalls are each just a single component.
And why did VDL choose this construction method? The answer is simple: a bus that weighs less needs less energy to move. And less energy consumption means a longer range for the electric bus.
The new Citea is available as a LF (low floor) a 12-meter-bus (LF 122) or as an 18.1-meter articulated bus (LF 181) , but also a low-entry (LE) bus in three different lengths of 12.2 meters (LE 122), 13.5 meters (LE 135) and 14.9 meters (LE 149). The bodies of all these vehicles are completely identical in terms of their external dimensions of width and height; low-floor and low-entry buses cannot be distinguished externally. Inside, too, they are identical from the front to immediately in front of the second axle. Only from the second axle onwards does the low floor continue to the rear part with a low-floor design layout, while the low entry has steps to a higher floor rear section.
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