Van Hool, the Belgian manufacturer of buses, coaches and industrial vehicles, has presented its first edition of a completely new range of 100% zero emission buses on the first day of Euro Mobility Expo 2022, an international trade show for public transport.
The Van Hool A12 Battery Electric is the first vehicle in a completely new range of buses in four different lengths (12m, 13m, 18m and 24m) equipped with exclusively zero emission powertrains: battery-electric, fuel cell (hydrogen) and trolley.
With this new A range, the company is building on the knowledge and experience it has gained in the area of eco-friendly buses for public urban and regional transport. Van Hool is ready to provide a response to the ever-growing demand from public transport companies that are focusing on ‘greening’ their fleets. Even before the official announcement of the new A range Van Hool had 13 orders on its books, for a total of 162 buses.
Filip Van Hool, CEO of Van Hool NV, states: “The intention in designing the new A range was to come up with an eco-friendly (100 per cent zero emissions), comfortable, safe, timeless and sustainable bus range that can be used in urban and regional transport in Europe. Our aim was to present an integrated new range to meet the high expectations of the transport companies, the drivers and the passengers. The new interior and exterior design and the choice of three different powertrains were linked, on the one hand, to the international experiences that we have built up over the past few decades and, on the other, to the challenges that public transport companies will face over the coming years. Our customers are focusing on greening their fleets and are pursuing zero emissions. They are tying that to comfort and safety for the users of public transport, a pleasant working environment for the driver and a TCO (total cost of ownership) in order to perform their task profitably. More than ever, we are ready to play a significant role on the European public transport market. We now have a completely new range of urban buses, in four different lengths (12m, 13m, 18m and 24m), which are equipped with exclusively zero emissions powertrains: battery-electric, fuel cell (hydrogen) and trolley.”
In the design and development of the new A range, particular attention was paid to the weight, sustainability and modularity of the buses. Structural weight savings were achieved through the use of high strength stainless steel, low-weight composite materials and sustainable bonding techniques. For this, computer simulation and optimization techniques were used, combined with more than 75 years’ skill and experience.
A modular fastening system has been fitted on the self-supporting sandwich roof of the bus for the integration of parts such as batteries, and air conditioning and control systems. Upgrading/updating, any subsequent modifications and replacement with other parts will be easier as a result, therefore guaranteeing a long life of the vehicle. This way, Van Hool is making an important contribution to the circular economy.