Busworld31 August 2023

Busworld Equipmake  Zenobe Ebusco

​The biennial Busworld show promises to bring together about 500 exhibitors, 40,000 visitors and 300 vehicles to Brussels Expo for a week in October. Early news is below

With UK exhibitors including Cummins (7/775) Equipmake (6/610), Mellor (5/505A) and Zenobe (11/1165b), the show also boasts big European brands including IVECO Bus, MAN and Van Hool.

For example, launching on 7 October on its stand (6/602) is the Irizar i6S Efficient Hydrogen coach. It will be joined by an i8 coach, an i6S Efficient coach and an electric ie tram vehicle.

In Hall 6/603 Ebusco is showing the 12m full-electric Ebusco 3.0 and 18m articulated version. In June, the company delivered the first Ebusco 3.0 model from series production, a 12m bus going to Transdev for operation in Hilversum, Netherlands. The composite-bodied bus features batteries integrated into the chassis.

The company said that the first unit has already been running on test for over a year and a half on line 100 in downtown Munich. It claims its energy consumption has already proven to be more than 30% lower compared to its predecessor (the Ebusco 2.2). The buses are expected to be delivered in phases.

Due to issues in the supply chain, the buses had been waiting for the final parts since the end of last year. Bob Fleuren, COO at Ebusco, explained: “Besides the usual learning curve when starting a new production line, in particular issues in the supply chain caused the completion of the buses to take longer than expected. However, our team has worked extremely hard over the past few months and we are therefore proud that Transdev can now hit the road with the first Ebusco 3.0 bus. With this first series, a solid foundation has been established for our continued ramp-up, so we expect to make considerable progress in the next few months.”

In July, the company issued a profit warning blaming the supply chain shortages ‘partly due to the lower number of buses contributing to turnover.’ It predicts turnover in January-June 2023 to be €41m and to make a loss (EBITDA) of €44m, but hopes to reverse the loss in 2024. Production is being scaled with help from three (unnamed) assembly partners, while plans continue for the opening of a factory in Rouen, France.

An even higher-profile model plus factory launch comes from Belgian brand VDL Bus & Coach (6/605). Following its launch at Innotrans last year, the Next Generation VDL Citea comes to Busworld with new details, including work on lifecycle assessments. The Next Generation VDL Citea is a new full-electric only model to be built in a new 20,000m² e-bus factory in Roeselare, Belgium, where Citea units are already being produced in advance of an official opening in mid-2024.

Four lengths (12m, 13.5m, 14.9m and 18m) and five models at 19.5t, 25.2t and 29t gvw are offered. The buses come with a choice of two motor configurations: ZF AxTrax AVE hub motors for low-floor types, or a ZF CeTrax Central Electrical Drive central motor for low-entry units. Batteries are floor-mounted. Multiple optional battery sizes and configurations are also available, with maximum total energy available ranging from 490 to 674kWh. Bus sidewalls are a single-piece composite.

In other news, VDL reports that it is supplying 60 new-generation Citea LE-122s equipped with 490kWh batteries and 133 Citea LE-135s with 552kWh batteries. The contract is said to be the OEM’s largest-ever electric bus contract, and is for Dutch region Zaanstreek-Waterland, from operator EBS. “We are immensely proud that VDL Bus & Coach is able to supply the entire new fleet for this newly formed concession,” said Rolf-Jan Zweep, the new 2023 company CEO.


Dancer Bus of Lithuania (6/605B) is to present the 530, a full-electric 12m city bus. The 32-seat bus is fitted with lithium NMC rechargeable batteries of 144kW capacity; average energy consumption is said to be 0.91kWh/km. Standard charging is CCS2. Dancer bus 75, also 12m, offers up to 100km range thanks to average energy consumption of 0.72kWh/km.

Turkish company Karsan, 5/501, is showing a range of buses. The 8m e-Atak full-electric bus, with maximum range of 300km, holds up to 52 passengers. A 12m version offers capacity for more than 100 passengers. Both are powered by a 230kW-capacity electric motor. The Autonomous E-Atak features level 4 automation functionality to detect road and environmental conditions on defined routes. Also showing is the e-ATA hydrogen bus.

Bluebus of France (8/833B) is exhibiting a 6m full-electric vehicle (above). It says: “Based on a 10-year experience, Bluebus has completely redesigned its 6m minibus,” with a claimed passenger capacity of 35.

Anadolu Isuzu (4/403) is to show two electric city buses: the CitiVolt, with up to three doors, and NovoCity Volt. The latter is the company’s first 8m-long EV public transportation bus, fitted with a 270kW-capacity TM4 electric motor.

Transport Engineer

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