Dutch organisation VDL recently gave their accounts of how opportunity charging performs in real life, which could be a viable solution for the future of electric buses operating in the UK.
VDL as of yet has no plans to sell its Citea range in the UK but is keeping a very close eye on the UK market for electric buses.
VDL has identified that if anything transpired, it would likely be the 9.95m LLE-99 that was adopted for right-hand drive first. With air-conditioning it weighs 10,295kg un-laden, and it carries 62 passengers. 180kW/h of energy is stored on board.
Arriva Nederland spokesperson said “We had to construct charging stations, including on residential streets, as a result some people gained a charging point outside their houses.”
The Dutch company currently fits a pantograph to the electric Citeas, but as of 2018 it will offer an alternative, which is a collector fixed to road infrastructure. According to Mr van der Meer, the importance of ensuring that buses are correctly positioned when charging is huge.
A larger centre of opportunity-charged electric buses is in Eindhoven, where Hermes operates 43 air-conditioned articulated Citea SLF-181s. They are BRT-style buses built to a high specification.
Their charging regime is complicated, and it is one that currently would be untenable in the UK market. Each bus returns to the depot up to four times per day to receive a half-hour boost, although scheduling permits for them all to be in service at the height of both peaks is quite difficult.