Huge e-bus order goes to BYD

11 December 2019

Keolis Nederland BV – the Dutch subsidiary of global public transport provider Keolis – has awarded what is believed to be the largest ever single order for electric buses in Europe to BYD.

The order is made up of 259 pure-electric BYD eBuses which will start entering service from next summer.

The deal was reached after Keolis and BYD agreed a whole-life package which delivers a total transport solution and takes into account operational needs and passenger comfort requirements.

Afterwards, BYD Europe Managing Director, Isbrand Ho, said, “This is a momentous occasion for BYD and also represents a huge commitment to electric mobility since it becomes the largest European fleet ever switched to electric at one time”

The deal will see BYD’s 8.7-metre midi bus, 12-metre and new 13-metre eBus models enter service from the end of 2020 on routes throughout the Netherlands’ IJssel-Vecht region, including front-line operations in the municipalities of Zwolle, Apeldoorn and Lelystad.

The majority of the Keolis order comprises 206 of BYD’s best-selling 12-metre model all of which will be equipped with pantographs.

Frank Janssen, CEO Keolis Nederland, said, “It is another milestone for Keolis Nederland and the Keolis Group in developing and deploying electromobility solutions around the world and it reaffirms our commitment to supporting public transport authorities in the transition to sustainability.

“We’ve chosen BYD due to our excellent experience with their e-buses. These are a fundamental part in our daily operation to the full satisfaction of our passengers and employees. Furthermore, we trust in BYD’s expertise as a manufacturer in developing and maintaining battery-packages.”

Mellor makes headway with Durham County Council

11 December 2019

British vehicle manufacturer Mellor has delivered seven of its Orion Plus low floor buses to Durham County Council.

The Orion Plus was carefully designed and engineered to run on narrow streets and rural routes without compromising on passenger numbers. This makes it the ideal choice for the centre of historic Durham and the surrounding countryside.

Chris Prince, Durham County Council’s Strategic Fleet Team Manager, said, “We have heard great things about the reliability, adaptability and fuel efficiency of the Orion Plus, so had no hesitation in placing our first order.

The new buses will mostly be used as accessible welfare vehicles. The adaptable interior of the Orion Plus means accessible transport can be offered to all.

The council has ordered buses in 16-seat configuration, allowing for wheelchair access, but each can carry up to 22 passengers.

UK new van market down -9.6% in November

05 December 2019

  • UK new van market falls for third consecutive month, down -9.6% in November.
  • Most segments experience double digit declines, but pickups buck trend, up 17.2%.
  • Performance year-to-date up 1.9% with 338,227 models registered for UK roads.

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UK new light commercial vehicle (LCV) registrations fell -9.6% in November, the third consecutive monthly decline, according to the latest figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Market uncertainty and regulatory changes continued to affect performance, with some 2,797 fewer models registered in the month as all van categories and 4x4s experienced double digit declines.

In November, registrations of small vans weighing less than 2.0 tonnes and medium vans weighing 2.0-2.5 tonnes fell by -24.0% and -19.4% respectively. Demand for larger vans weighing 2.5-3.5 tonnes also declined, down -11.4%, and the 4×4 segment fell too, down -12.4%, while pickups were the only category to see growth, up 17.2%. Performance in the year to date is still up, however, rising 1.9%, with an extra 6,451 new LCVs joining UK roads.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

A third consecutive month of decline for new van registrations is concerning, particularly after growth for much of the year. Ongoing political uncertainty doesn’t help inspire business confidence but this is essential if we are to embolden further investment in new vehicles which will go a long way to improving air quality in our towns and cities.

Duo team up with to offer new solutions

04 December 2019

Telematics specialists Teletrac Navman and logistics and delivery software business Stream have entered into a new strategic partnership.

The arrangement will see the companies work together to develop new solutions for transport and logistics operators.

Teletrac Navman’s telematics data will enhance Stream’s products by providing detailed reporting on driver performance, idling time, vehicle usage outside scheduled hours and fuel consumption.

This data enables operators to improve driver behaviour on the road, better protect its high-value assets, reduce maintenance requirements and insurance premiums.

Peter Millichap, Marketing Director at Teletrac Navman, said, “The synergies between our businesses is evident and we’re already exploring conversations with a number of current and prospective customers who we believe this will add real value to their operations.”

Dave Pickburn, Founder and Director at Stream, said, “This is very much a partnership that offers operators something more than just the sum of the two parts. We can effectively provide them more added value, collective data and operational tools than ever before, so it’s an exciting prospect to take to market.”

CV journalists take a closer look at the future of the van

05 December 2019

Tackling urban congestion, improving air quality and the rise of online shopping will be some of the main factors that influence van design and technology in the years to come, according to Europe’s leading commercial vehicle journalists.

That’s the picture painted in a new white paper – The Evolution of the Light Commercial Vehicle in the Urban Environment – produced by the 25 journalists from across Europe who make up the International Van of the Year Jury and published last month.

The paper draws on the panel’s experience and industry insight to pull together a comprehensive overview of the factors they feel are most likely to influence the development of future vans and light commercials, not least the predicted growth of home parcel deliveries, which will compound congestion problems, and the greater integration of the driver within the global supply chain.

Many of the points raised in the report are not new. They have been discussed and reported at length before. But what makes the white paper particularly interesting is that its findings are those of journalists on the coal face, collating views from across the wide spectrum of the sector from driver to logistics operator..

The report finds:

New solutions that make life easier and more streamlined for drivers will be incorporated into vehicle designs. The onus will be on vehicle manufacturers to anticipate the needs of drivers in future cities.
Smart solutions such as vehicle telematics, parcel tracking and load-logging technology will be embedded in van design. This will allow vans and drivers to be better interconnected with data ecosystems that stretch from end-to-end of supply chains.
Innovations in autonomous driving are currently being held back by ‘chaotic and unpredictable’ road networks.

  • When these obstacles to the wider adoption of autonomous vehicles are removed, the savings that can be made on driver wages will drive adoption of the technology.
  • Vehicle electrification is ideally suited to the future needs of the LCV and government buy-in will be instrumental in developing the infrastructure needed to drive corporate acceptance.
  • A joined-up, multinational approach to low emission zones and clean air zones would be ‘tremendously useful’ for owners and manufacturers alike.
  • Vans will remain an essential link in supply chains, despite the increasing prevalence of final mile solutions.
    At the same time, the proliferation of final mile fulfilment agents will make road safety a real challenge for future cities.
  • ‘Safe zones’ may be needed to facilitate the further roll-out of safety-driven autonomous systems.
  • E-commerce will continue to push forward innovation and efficiency for home delivery in general, but LCVs in particular

Finally, the white paper concludes, “The future of urban logistics depends on businesses, politicians and Local Authorities working together across the globe to steer innovations on the right course.

“Seeking a better, greener and truly sustainable society is a noble and urgent aim, but it will also enable smarter transport and delivery processes, and the evolution of a new breed of LCVs.”

The full white paper can be downloaded here.

Bevan Group extends its warranty protection

04 December 2019

Commercial vehicle bodybuilder Bevan Group has introduced a comprehensive five-year warranty on its products.

The West Midlands-based company says the new warranty will deliver greater peace of mind for its customers and ‘underlines its confidence in the quality of its products, processes and people’.

The new warranty covers all elements of the manufacturing process, including frames and sub-frames, for Bevan Group’s extensive range of dry freight box bodies and curtainsiders, dropsiders, tippers and Lutons.

It also extends to trucks and vans built for more specialised applications, such as impact protection vehicles used by highways management operators.

The fitment of ancillaries such as tail-lifts, cranes, roller shutter doors and crash cushions is included too, although the equipment itself will continue to be covered by the relevant third-party supplier’s own warranty.

Managing Director Anthony Bevan said, “We’ve never walked away from a customer with a legitimate issue, even if their vehicle was technically out of warranty,” he says. “If we’re at fault, then we’ll do whatever it takes to resolve the problem.”

Anthony continues: “Bevan Group is committed to long-term partnerships, so we also offer extended warranty terms of up eight years for some of our biggest, key account customers. I’m certainly not expecting, therefore, that this announcement is going to cost us a fortune by provoking a flurry of additional warranty claims.

“Rather, what I’d like to think we’ve done by adding an extra two years’ cover across the board, is demonstrate to potential as well as established customers that they can have full confidence in the quality of our products and in our back-up.”

Hydrogen Hyundai wins innovation award

04 December 2019

Hyundai Motor’s Hydrogen Mobility Solution has won the International Truck of the Year (IToY) Truck Innovation Award.

Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility was set up by Hyundai Motor Company and H2 Energy earlier this year with the goal of expanding Europe’s hydrogen mobility ecosystem by implementing the use of fuel cell trucks.

The company plans to deliver 1,600 fuel cell electric heavy-duty trucks by 2025.

The IToY Truck Innovation Award is determined by a jury of 25 commercial vehicle editors and senior journalists that represent major trucking magazines from Europe and South Africa.

Edward Lee, Head of Hyundai Commercial Vehicle Business Division, said, “This is a validation of our approach to commercialising hydrogen-powered fuel cell trucks in Europe and around the world

“The joint venture between Hyundai and H2 Energy was established to accelerate our Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) Vision 2030, and we’re honoured that this prestigious group of journalists has recognised our efforts.”

Mexico City welcomes new trolleybuses

04 December 2019

A fleet of 40 dual-powered Yutong trolleybuses has entered service in Mexico City as one of the world’s largest urban municipalities seeks to improve public transport and improve air quality.

A further 23 of the models will be delivered in December and will enter service soon after.

Speaking at a launch ceremony, Claudia Sheimbaum, Mayor of Mexico City, said, “Dual-powered trolleybuses are of great significance for improving public transportation and the urban environment in Mexico City. To improve urban accessibility, we must improve public transportation. Therefore, we will increase the number of electric vehicles in the city. Yutong dual-powered trolleybus technology is proved to be successful and emissions-free.”

Double trailer solution wins award

04 December 2019

Schmitz Cargobull has won a sustainability awards from a German specialist automotive publisher for its EcoDuo transport concept.

Expert judges from the Huss-Verlag publishing house recognised the company in the Concept and Initiative category.

The EcoDuo is two standard semi-trailers, connected by a dolly and towed by a tractor unit.

Andreas Schmitz, Chairman of the Board of Schmitz Cargobull AG, said, “We see the EcoDuo as a long-term ecologically and economically efficient transport solution throughout Europe, which is why we are advocating the use of this concept for motorway trunking.

“The combination of existing standard trailers ensures flexible use in hub-to-hub transport outside urban areas.”

The total towing weight of the semitrailer tractor and first trailer remains at 40 tonnes, while the towing weight of the second trailer can vary, e.g. up to 36 tonnes, which currently complies with the regulations in Scandinavia. This vehicle combination is also being tested in Spain with a train weight of 40 tonnes on the first trailer and 30 tonnes on the second trailer.

Schmitz continued, “The EcoDuo combination is one of the few concepts that reduces CO2 emissions by up to 25 percent and at the same time reduces costs for the state, consumers and the economy. We are convinced of this concept because it does not require any additional purchases for the haulier and they can fall back on their current fleet.”

Double success for Mercedes-Benz bus

05 December 2019

The big-selling Mercedes-Benz Citaro bus is enjoying a strong end to 2019.

First, the 55,555th Citaro– an all-electric eCitaro bus – rolled off the production line and was delivered to public transport provider Bergkvarabuss AB in the Swedish port town of Trelleborg.

Roman Biondi, Head of Sales at Daimler Buses: “The Citaro is a milestone in bus history. And with the arrival of the eCitaro, its development has entered a new phase. It is our answer to the need for quiet and locally emission-free urban buses.”

The anniversary bus is part of an order for ten eCitaro buses for use in Trelleborg. It is the second eCitaro order which Bergkvarabuss AB has placed. The bus company based in Kalmar on southern Sweden’s Baltic coast is active in all manner of bus travel, be that school buses, regular-service lines and inter-city routes. Bergkvarabuss AB operates shuttle buses to cruise ships in port towns. The company has more than 30 locations in Sweden, Denmark and Germany and has a fleet of more than 1000 buses.

Shortly after, the German city of Reutlinger near Stuttgart introduced its first ‘E Line’ electric bus route, following the delivery of four Mercedes-Benz eCitaro buses to local public service provider RSV.

The buses will be charged at a purpose-built depot located near the route and ‘topped-up’ during breaks between journeys.

Hermann Fröhlich, Head of the South-West Sales Region at Daimler Buses, said, “Reutlingen is a good example of how the change in our mobility approach within public transport companies can work. In creating a new, purpose-built depot, RSV is already putting in place what it needs to fulfil the requirements of purely electric public transport for tomorrow. In supplying the eCitaro, we also wish to contribute towards their success in this field.”