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VDL (NL) builds carbon-neutral e-bus factory in Flanders

Flanders is speeding ahead on the e-bus bandwagon. Adding to this dynamic, Dutch VDL Bus Group invested EUR 44 million in a new e-bus factory near the city of Roeselare. Construction is in full swing. The first green ‘VDL Citea’ city buses are expected to roll off the production lines in early 2023. “The new factory will be our center for e-mobility, enabling us to respond even better to market needs and demands,” says Willem van der Leegte, President and CEO of VDL Group.

Hopping on the e-bus

At the new plant, which is set to replace the company’s current factory in the town of Beveren (Flanders), buses will be manufactured in a carbon-neutral environment. According to Peter Wouters, the production process will be designed to build electrically powered buses as efficiently as possible. “This process will be made entirely energy-neutral through the use of green technology.” In addition, shorter assembly lines will increase production, reaching up to 800 buses per year, twice as much as the current rate.

Driving the path of experience

With its investment in Flanders, VDL stays true to its strategy of continuing to build buses in Europe. Flanders has been leading sustainable innovation, research and development in the automotive industry for decades. For Tonia Van de Vyver, economic representative of Flanders for the Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT) office in The Hague, the reasons behind VDL’s choice are clear:

VDL’s investment in a new e-bus factory in Flanders proves once again that our region is a high-quality center of knowledge when it comes to sustainable transport. I’m confident that VDL will benefit from Flanders’ expertise and skilled workforce.

Tonia Van de Vyver

Transition to zero emission

The investment in the new Flanders-based factory meets the core of VDL’s ‘Aiming for Zero’ program, an ambitious action plan for moving to a more sustainable method of transport. “We want to remain at the forefront of e-mobility in Europe,” says Willem van der Leegte, President and CEO of VDL Group. “The call for zero emissions is growing everywhere. Working with our partners and customers, we tirelessly pursue the development of sustainable, innovative solutions that make this possible.”

VDL has been in Flanders since 1998. Besides the bus factory in Roeselare, it has six other factories in the region. In total, these sites employ over 1,000 people, 650 of whom work at the Roeselare plant.

More info

VDL Bus & Coach
Reported by
newspaper De Tijd
17 February 2022

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