Van Hool unveiled the first models to roll off the assembly line today. “We tested the vehicle extensively in the Belgian Ardennes. The great challenge our engineers faced was to generate sufficient power to allow a vehicle weighing 20 tons to drive in the best conditions” said Van Hool’s Dirk Snauwaert.
“We built the double-decker in response to the demands of our American customers. They want to provide transportation for staff In the Bay Area of California. We haven’t got any firm orders yet, but talks are in advanced stage for the sale of twenty vehicles”.
Van Hool has already sold 22 of its regular electric coaches that were released on the US market last year.
“There’s greater interest in the electric double-deckers in the US than in Europe, but we have noticed increased demand in Europe too. Cruise companies are eager to use the vehicles to provide transportation for cruise passengers. They are needed for limited distances, to visit the sights”.
Over the past decades Van Hool marketed over 1,200 electric buses destined for public transport.
“Using this technology on coaches is an important step. Coaches are regularly used on longer stretches in comparison to the distances covered by public transport buses. It opens new opportunities in this segment of the market” says Snauwaert.
The electric double-decker is assembled at Koningshooikt (Antwerp Province) where it will guarantee existing employment levels for the future.