Van Hool is to build 58 double-articulated Exqui.City ‘trambuses’ for Trondheim in Norway, where they are set to enter service as from August 2019.
It has signed a contract with Nettbuss and Tide, the local operators who run the buses on behalf of AtB, the public transport company in Trondheim, to supply 58 of the 24m hybrid (HVO diesel-electric) double-axle-drive buses. Nettbuss will operate 44 of them and Tide 14 units.
The first two — one for each operator — will be delivered this coming December, all the others between March and June 2019. This is the largest order that Van Hool has ever secured for the Exqui.City, which has been available in the market since 2011 and of which more than 250 vehicles have been ordered in 11 countries to date, including 30 for the Glide bus rapid transit service in Belfast.
These 58 will be put into service on three routes (two are around 21.5km and one is around 13.5km). They will be maintained by the Busnor Partner WWist in its workshop facility in Trondheim. The maintenance contract, which is to run for 10 years, has been awarded to Busnor, with whom Van Hool will cooperate closely to offer an optimal bus package: from delivery to comprehensive maintenance throughout this period. In doing so, these two partners will continue an existing joint venture: Busnor and Van Hool are working in line with a similar concept in the Norwegian city of Bergen, where two Exqui.City have been in operation since 2014.
Filip Van Hool, CEO at Van Hool, says: “Our buses are our best reference: trambuses currently in service since 2014 in Bergen, doing so to everyone’s satisfaction, have undoubtedly played a part in Trondheim’s opting for the Exqui.City. It is also a boost for the production facility in Koningshooikt [Belgium]where the trambuses will be built in their entirety. Moreover, this order for 58 high-tech trambuses for Trondheim confirms the part that Van Hool can play as a manufacturer of vehicles with high added value, something in which the firm specialises.”
Mrs Janne Sollie, CEO at AtB (administration company for public transportation and mobility in TrØndelag, the region and province in central Norway) says : “The bus equipment chosen for the three main lines in Trondheim will definitely increase capacity for the users, improve passenger comfort and will make public transportation more efficient. Together with our two operators: Netbuss and Tide, we are able to offer an efficient and realistic solution for public transport in Trondheim and the surrounding area.”