De Lijn orders new fleet of electric buses from China

Public transport company De Lijn has ordered 92 standard electric buses from the Chinese bus builder BYD, the company announced on Thursday.

This is the first time De Lijn has bought large electric buses from BYD. The order, worth more than 43 million euros, follows the award by De Lijn's board of directors of a new framework agreement for a maximum of 500 standard e-buses to BYD Europe.

“This order for the next series of e-buses is excellent news for travellers and the achievement of our climate objectives,” said Flemish Mobility minister Lydia Peeters (Open VLD). “This means that diesel buses from a previous generation can be replaced by emission-free vehicles.”

The buses are made in Hungary and will be delivered from early 2025. Since June, De Lijn has been using seven smaller Chinese-made buses in Bruges.

In the coming months, De Lijn expects 36 new electric buses from the Belgian bus builder Van Hool and 24 from VDL. There is also an order for 109 articulated e-buses from the Italian company Iveco.

EU probe into Chinese vehicles

In October, the European Commission published an initiation notice of anti-subsidy investigations into EU imports of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) from China. The examination aims to determine whether car exporters received subsidies from the Chinese government during a specific period and whether these subsidies harmed European industry.

In addressing the intention behind the probe, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said that the "global market is flooded with cheaper electric vehicles" with artificially low prices owing to "huge state subsidies."

While the investigation seeks to strengthen Europe's industrial defence against China's rapidly growing electric vehicle industry, Germany has raised concerns that Beijing could push back in a manner that results in a trade war.


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