Belgian electric order is Volvo’s biggest yet

TEC, the Belgian state-owned operator serving French-speaking Wallonia, has placed the biggest order yet for Volvo’s opportunity charged 7900 Electric Hybrid.

It is buying 55 for the cities of Charleroi and 35 for Namur, along with 12 ABB overhead charging stations, four in Charleroi and eight in Namur. Delivery and installation begins in the autumn.

The Namur investment follows the introduction of 11 similar vehicles and three charging stations in January and will enable 90% of its public transport to be electrified.

Volvo’s OppCharge overhead charging system, available from Siemens and ABB, conforms to a common European standard for all makes of buses and trucks. ‘The use by many suppliers of a common interface will facilitate the transition to electro-mobility in the world’s cities,’ says Volvo Buses president Håkan Agnevall.

■ TEC has also placed a 105million (£89.8million) order with Solaris for 208 diesel-hybrid Urbino 12s with the BAE Systems HybriDrive system also used by Alexander Dennis. The order, which covers the delivery and maintenance of energy storage equipment for 16 years, is the Polish manufacturer’s first in Belgium.

Ten of the 97 Urbinos will be delivered in September. The remaining 111 follow in 2018/19. TEC’s Hainaut and Liege-Verviers regional fleets will operate them.