Schiphol Airport and the surrounding area are part of the Amstelland-Meerlanden concession, which includes the municipalities of Aalsmeer, Amstelveen, Ouder-Amstel (except for Duivendrecht), Uithoorn and Haarlemmermeer. The concession, which was won by Connexxion last year, runs from 10 December 2017 to 11 December 2027 and has a value of around EUR 100 million per year (including EUR 40.5 million in subsidies received from the Amsterdam Transport Region). Based on a study, the Amsterdam Transport Region and Schiphol Airport decided to include the use of zero-emissions buses as a requirement in the invitation to tender. Schiphol Airport financed and built the infrastructure for the charging points on the Schiphol grounds.
Miriam Hoekstra-van der Deen, Director of Airport Operations at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol: "'Schiphol is about more than just planes. It is one of the biggest public transport hubs in The Netherlands. It is fantastic that from today, thousands of passengers, commuters and employees will be taking green buses from and to Schiphol. Schiphol Airport has helped drive this project forward with great enthusiasm and we are very happy that we have been able to contribute to it. Ultimately, we want Schiphol to be climate-neutral by 2040. This partnership with Connexxion and the Transport Region is a huge step towards this goal."
Bart Schmeink, CEO of Transdev Netherlands: "I am immensely proud of this great achievement! We have managed to accomplish this great result by working together with the Amsterdam Transport Region, the Municipality of Amsterdam and Schiphol Airport, and, last but not least, thanks the hard work of our staff! With this concession and bus fleet, the city of Amsterdam is ready for the future.
Pieter Litjens, the official responsible for public transport at the Amsterdam Transport Region: "At the Amsterdam Transport Region we are very happy with this great electric bus fleet in the Amsterdam region. This is a highly innovative project, in which we have brought about an excellent result for both passengers and local residents by working together. The Dutch government bodies have concluded a policy agreement whereby, starting from 2025, only buses with zero harmful emissions may be bought. This is a huge first step towards that goal."
Fast and slow charging points
The buses produced by VDL are 18 metres long and, depending on the exact type, have room for 117 (Schiphol network) or 120 (Randstad network) passengers. They are in operation 24 hours a day and have a battery capacity of 170 KWh. When fully charged, the buses have a driving range of up to 80 kilometres, based on an assumed power use of 2 kWh per kilometre.
The buses are charged by slow and fast charging points. Fast charging has a charging capacity of 450 kWh and takes no more than 15 to 25 minutes. Slow charging has a charging capacity of 30 kWh and takes four to five hours. Charging points are currently in place at Schiphol P30, Knooppunt Schiphol Noord and Cateringweg, all on the Schiphol grounds, and also in Amstelveen. In future, additional charging points will installed in Harlem and at Schiphol Zuid.
Around 500 drivers have received special training on driving the zero-emission buses (including how to safely charge them). In total, 550 colleagues have been trained, including vehicle cleaners and other personnel.