The Nordic public transport operator Nobina has ordered 21 battery-electric double-track tram buses of the type Exqui.City in the 24-meter version from the Belgian manufacturer Van Hool. These will be used in Malmö city’s public transport from the middle of 2022.
The electric tram buses are plug-in vehicles that will be charged at the Nobina depot in Malmö. Van Hool says that the Exqui.City model, which comes in 18- and 24-meter versions, combines the flexibility of a bus with the efficiency of a tram.
The bus manufacturer has designed these tram buses with what they call a “distinct futuristic design”, and says that a high level of comfort is provided with air conditioning, low noise level and soft lighting. The bus-tram design will offer optimal accessibility with low boarding height and easy entry and exit via the four double doors. VanHool builds these vehicles on a multi-power platform with three zero-emission alternatives of pure battery electric, trolley (overhead lines) and hydrogen fuel cell.
A hydrogen fuel cell version of the Exqui.City tram buses went into operation in Pau in the south of France in December 2019. These are not the only fuel cell buses manufactured by the Belgian bus manufacturer. Van Hool has committed to becoming 100% fossil fuel free and also manufactures hydrogen fuel cell buses on another platform that became Denmark’s first fuel cell bus, which was put into operation at the beginning of 2020 in Aalborg. Van Hool A330 has fuel cell technology from Ballard.
On the wagon side of the Exqui.City platform, six of the wagon versions of Van Hool’s Exqui.City will hit the streets of Pescara, Italy from the middle of this year. The largest order for these came from Norway in 2018, when 58 units were ordered to the city of Trondheim for operation in 2019.
VanHool says that Nobina is the largest provider of public transport services in the Nordic region. Nobina has an eclectic approach to bus manufacturers, after using electric buses from BYD, MAN, Volvo and Ebusco.