Coaches & Buses > VDL and Ebusco miss record order electric buses: carrier Keolis thinks Chinese BYD bus is better
VDL and Ebusco miss record order electric buses: carrier Keolis thinks Chinese BYD bus is better
Disappointment in Eindhoven and in Deurne. Regional bus manufacturers VDL and Ebusco failed to award the largest order for electric buses in Europe. Carrier Keolis buys the 259 buses from the Chinese BYD.
VDL would have liked to receive the order. The Eindhoven company attaches great value to assignments in its own country and in Belgium, where it has a large bus factory. "We focus on our home markets," said a spokesman for VDL. That the company was able to announce an order for 200 buses for the Flemish transport company De Lijn this week cannot brush away the sensitive loss in Overijssel to the Chinese competitor.
Why did Keolis opt for BYD buses? The carrier cites the 'good experience' with BYD electric buses that it already has in Almere and Utrecht as the first reason. "In addition, BYD offers a good price-quality ratio and BYD as a battery manufacturer originally has years of experience, knowledge and lead in the field of battery packs," says a spokeswoman.
High battery capacity
Keolis says that he has requested quotes from several suppliers, including VDL and Ebusco. According to the carrier, VDL had to make do with the battery capacity and thus the range of the buses. "The high battery capacity gives us certainty on the many regional lines where we will also drive across the province," says the spokeswoman. Keolis adds that "the vehicle we wanted was not available in the VDL program." In addition, it could not be guaranteed that the vehicles could be delivered on time. ”
VDL states in a response that 'in the first phase of the tender' it could not have products with a larger battery, but in the second phase it 'certainly'. Furthermore, the company says it has "offered far-reaching guarantees" for timely delivery.
According to Keolis, the 'good experience with BYD and the high battery capacity' was also decisive in the comparison with Ebusco. “We would have preferred the order. But sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, "says director Peter Bijvelds. He also states that the Ebusco buses have a higher battery capacity than BYD's.
In Overijssel, the award to BYD has led to discussion at the expense of VDL. Member of Parliament Joeri Pool of the PVV believes that the province has 'dropped VDL'. The PVV states that the province 'opted for the least resistance' in the tender by not including anything about the origin of the buses in the tender requirements. The party points to VDL's contribution to employment in Overijssel, partly by saving the Siemens factory in Hengelo. The PVV believes that BYD 'as a Chinese state-owned company' is not a fair competitor for a Dutch manufacturer.
Local production criterion
VDL advocates that the criterion of 'local production' should be taken into account in tenders. "It would be good for BV Nederland if it is an integral part of tenders," said the spokesperson.
According to experts, European procurement law does not offer this option. “That would mean discriminating against a provider from another EU member state. That is not possible, "says the lawyer Redmar Damsma, who specializes in procurement law, affiliated with Loyens Loeff in Amsterdam.