More recently La Rochelle ordered four of these tram like buses. This isn’t a conversion or adaptation of an existing bus platform, this is a product designed from the outset to be electric, drawing on the manufacturer’s experience in the tram market. First presented as a prototype back in 2017, the entirely low floor bus looks quite different to most. It has a symmetric profile, a lot more glass and is incredibly maneuverable thanks to full four-wheel steering. This last lets the bus ‘dock’ to the kerb for stops, making life much easier for those with reduced mobility, wheelchairs or buggies. See a video of a demo in Rotterdam here.
The bus has growing interest, not only in Europe but from as far away as Chile. Designed with the intention of having the same cost an equivalent diesel, the vehicle has a projected life of about 20 years, with minimal maintenance on the drivetrain.
The design is an urban one, up to 95 passengers, about 200km range, 6 hour overnight charge, as well as some form of Rapid charging and the option for the Alstom SRS embedded rail conductive or pantograph for in-service opportunity DC charging.
(No, we aren’t sure about the Marechal AC connector in the video either!)