Nordjyllands Trafikselskab, the public transport authority for Northern Denmark, has selected Keolis to electrify, operate and maintain the region’s bus network. The concession stipulates that Keolis must convert the entire fleet to zero-emission service by 1 April 2023.
Keolis will deploy the Model 3.0 by Ebusco, which the Dutch manufacturer introduced in late 2021. The 12-metre bus at 8.5 tons is 33 per cent lighter and said to travel up to 500 kilometers on one battery charge. The new version comes with batteries beneath the floor and no longer on the vehicle roof. The Ebusco 3.0 has room for up to 90 passengers.
The contract between Nordjyllands Trafikselskab and Keolis starts on 1 August 2022 and runs for ten years. There is also an option for an extension for a further six years.
The Ebusco bus is designed for overnight charging at the depot with no pantograph charging option. Keolis will equip a depot in Tylstrup with charging infrastructure for about ten electric vehicles as part of the contract.
The network covering Northern Jutland comprises 31 vehicles serving seven routes, all of which connect to the railway and bus station in Aalborg, the fourth largest city in Denmark. The electric buses serve a large part of the region with 500,000 inhabitants and cover about four million kilometres annually, according to Keolis.
Keolis will hire 90 new employees, including 80 drivers. The contract strengthens the position as “a low-carbon public transport operator in Denmark and illustrates the Group’s current momentum in the country,” so Keolis.
The Europe-wide operator has been based in Denmark since 2007, employs 1,800 people there and operates, among other things, around 550 buses in more than ten cities. For example, Keolis has put a fleet of 20 electric buses into operation in Odense, and in the greater Copenhagen area, the company operates 42 electric buses.
Also, Keolis can draw on experience from introducing and/or maintaining electric buses. In the Dutch provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel, Keolis put 246 electric buses into operation in December. Likewise, in Bergen, Norway, 138 electric buses (including 102 fully electric vehicles) have been operating since winter. In May, Keolis was awarded a ten-year contract worth 150 million euros by the Västraffik transport association to operate and maintain articulated e-buses in Gothenburg, Sweden.