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Two years electric wheelchair transport; the Tribus e-Crafter in practise

By Martijn Kersing and Raoul Nazier of Regiotaxi Eemland Heuvelrug/ Noot Personenvervoer

Due to the worldwide realization that CO2 emissions must be further reduced, Dutch concession providers are increasingly demanding emission-free passenger transport in their tenders. This is also a challenge for Noot Passenger Transport, which specializes in group transport and regional taxi activities. With the arrival of the Tribus e-Crafter in 2019, it became possible for Noot Personenvoer to meet the strict zero emission requirements for wheelchair transport. Now two years later it’s time to review this vehicle. Operational manager Raoul Nazier explains how Noot Personenvervoer experienced the use of the Tribus e-Crafter.

Electric driving requires a differant approach

“Unknown and exciting”, that was my gut feeling when we purchased the Tribus e-Crafter wheelchair bus in July 2019, says Director Martijn Kersing. Electric driving requires a different approach than driving a diesel-powered vehicle. Naturally we have a great deal of experience with electric vehicles as we have been driving electrically powered passenger cars since 2018 and many will know that we operate the largest fleet of hydrogen-powered vehicles in the Netherlands. After making an inventory of trip schedules, the Tribus e-Crafter with its specifications turned out to be a suitable solution for this route that mainly runs local city trips.

The right drivers on the right bus

We have taken two vehicles into use at the concession Regiotaxi Eemland-Heuvelrug. The vehicles are charged at our own charging plaza in Amersfoort. At night we charge with a 7kW AC charger and during the day drivers charge another 45 minutes with a DC fast charger during breaks. These drivers have been specifically selected because they have an anticipatory driving style and therefore have a great sense for electric driving. This is a requirement in order to reach the range needed.

A workable range

We have driven quite a few kilometers with the vehicles since 2019 so we are able to do a thorough consumption analysis, says Raoul Nazier. We mainly ride local city rides. The driving range in the summer is about 120km and in the spring and autumn 100km. Our drivers put the e-Crafters on the charger with a minimum residual range of 20 kilometers, in order to guarantee operational reliability. As a result, the total range is 20 kilometers higher with an average consumption between 120-140 kilometers. By means of the fast charging option, we double this range, so our drivers can easily ride the required kilometers. With the right pre-heating, we can increase the range even further, but to be honest, that is not yet in our system.

Satisfied passengers thanks to comfortable and zero emission driving

All in all, we are very satisfied with the vehicle. Both drivers and passengers indicate that they enjoy being transported zero emission and that the vehicle is comfortable and quiet. A small side note from our drivers is that due to its high weight, the bus appears to be a bit stiffer when processing speed bumps. Based on the positive feedback from our drivers and passengers, we recently expanded our zero-emission fleet with 10 extra Tribus e-Crafters. These will also be used for regional taxi activities.

The purchase is completely in line with our environmental objective, because Noot Personenvervoer will further reduce its CO2 emissions in the next year. A great initiative for a healthier living environment.

By Martijn Kersing, Managing Director en Raoul Nazier, Operational manager
Regiotaxi Eemland-Heuvelrug: www.rteh.nl
Noot Personenvervoer: www.noot.nl

More information about the Tribus e-Crafter?

Volkswagen Nutzfahrzeuge demonstrated our Tribus e-Crafter at the virtual IAA (German spoken) or check out the specifications at Volkswagen e-Crafter.

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