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Alstom to supply 4 Aptis to Greater La Rochelle


The Greater La Rochelle area has just ordered four 100% electric Aptis buses from Alstom via the CATP, the French central procurement office for public transport, for its Yélo urban transport network. They will be in circulation on the Illico 4 BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) line from the beginning of 2020. 12 metres long and equipped with three doors, the Aptis buses will reinforce the fleet of vehicles available to the La Rochelle transport operator RTCR.

Thanks to its innovative design, Aptis offers an unparalleled passenger experience. Its berthing system for perfect alignment with the pavement, its low, completely flat floor and wide double doors allow easy circulation and convenient boarding for people with reduced mobility and prams. Equipped with large bay windows along its entire length, Aptis offers 25% more windows than a standard bus and a rear seating area with panoramic views of the city.

“Thanks to our 100% electric mobility solution, we are pleased to contribute to a greener public transport offer in the Greater La Rochelle area. Aptis will offer a new transport experience that meets the expectations of our customers and their users,” declared David Journet, President of Alstom Aptis.

The vehicles requested by La Rochelle are designed for slow charging, at night at the depot. Aptis is also available for occasional recharging at the end of each line, using ground-based charging solutions (SRS) or charging through the top (pantograph).

Aptis was designed to have an optimised total cost. This is possible thanks to reduced maintenance and operating costs and a longer service life than that of standard buses.  The aim for the local authorities, therefore, is to have a total cost equivalent to that of existing standard diesel buses.

Already chosen by the Strasbourg transport operator CTS, RATP and Ile-de-France Mobilités, as well as by the areas of Greater Grenoble and Greater Toulon, Aptis is also, as of September 2018, referenced by the CATP in its electric bus offer destined for public purchasing by local authorities. This referencing allows member authorities to order Aptis vehicles directly and simply from the CATP without having to embark on long and costly procedures.

Since the prototype was presented in March 2017, more than 50,000 kilometres have been covered in real operating conditions by four test vehicles in France [1] and in Europe[2]. These trials made it possible to test the features of Aptis, inspired by the tram, in a new context, its insertion performance[3], its capacity for autonomy, and its driving assistance system. Aptis won the Innovation Award at the Busworld trade show in 2017. It also received the official certificate Origine France Garantie in January 2019. This certificate guarantees that more than 60% of Aptis’ added value is French.

The manufacturing and testing will be carried out at Alstom’s two sites in Alsace. The Hangenbieten site is responsible for manufacturing the end modules (driver’s cabin and rear seating area); the manufacture of the central passenger module, final assembly and tests will be carried out at the Reichshoffen site. This plan will enable serial production from the third quarter of 2019, drawing on the expertise of the teams and using the production facilities and surfaces available on each site.

Five other Alstom sites in France are involved in the design and manufacture of Aptis: Saint-Ouen for the system integration, Tarbes for the traction, Ornans for the motors and Villeurbanne for the electronic components of the traction chain. Finally, Alstom’s site in Vitrolles is developing one of the charging solutions (SRS).

[1] Paris (RATP lines 21 and 147), Lyon, Strasbourg, Marseille, La Rochelle, Nantes, Le Mans, Orléans, Versailles, Lourdes, Toulon, Tarbes, Grenoble, Montpellier and Nice.

[2] Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Italy.

[3] Optimised use of surface area in turns (-25% compared to a conventional bus)

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