De Lijn finds no charging stations and removes electric buses in Ghent

De Lijn will no longer run electric buses in Ghent for the time being. According to the Flemish transport company, this is due to the fact that it has not received a permit from the city to install charging stations. 

In 2017, the public transport company announced a pilot project with some 20 electric buses in Ghent, Leuven and Antwerp. The first passengers were supposed to board at the end of 2019, but not in Ghent. De Lijn has already purchased the electric vehicles from the manufacturer VDL in Roeselare, but is unable to obtain the permits for the necessary charging stations.

The local Alderman for Mobility Filip Watteeuw, surprised by the decision of the transport company, wants to consult with the transport company as soon as possible : "De Lijn has never given the signal that there was a problem with the roll-out of these charging stations."

In Leuven, De Lijn wants to start the project with a small delay. There, the transport company can rely on a the university KU Leuven site and the first buses will become operational at the beginning of 2020.

In Antwerp, this will only happen in the second quarter, because a location for the loading stations should also have been found.

In Brussels, the development of an electric vehicle fleet seems to be less problematic. The Brussels-based public transport company STIB ordered more than 100 hybrid buses and more than 30 fully electric buses.