MAN Truck & Bus

Electro-
mobility is present at all our stands

Interview with Mieke Glorieux

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Mieke Glorieux is managing director of “Busworld”, the world's most important bus convention. Now that the corona period is over, she is hoping for a revival of the industry.    

What are set to be the highlights of the next Busworld, due to be held in Brussels in October 2023?

Mieke Glorieux Our key topic will be ‘Post Covid’. We’ve had three years of stagnation in which almost nothing happened – especially in the tour bus sector. It feels like not even a single set of bus tyres was sold during that time. As for technologies, it goes without saying that e-mobility and battery technology will be at the forefront once more – as they were at our last event in 2019. The fair will also focus on hydrogen buses, safety aspects and sustainability topics. However, to be honest, the world is going crazy right now, especially in Ukraine, and the next Busworld isn’t until October 2023. Who knows what will happen between now and then?

How will the focus on e-mobility be handled at the fair?

Mieke Glorieux We will not have a special e-mobility corner. Electric vehicles will be present and tangible on all our stands, especially on the enormous MAN stand, which is always popular. Outside, we will also be offering rides in electric buses from a variety of manufacturers. In addition, we will have a wide range of charging points to enable us to provide the buses with electricity. Here too – as in general when it comes to e-mobility – the charging infrastructure will be a major challenge.

 

 

In my opinion, the MAN Lion's City E is a very attractive choice in the electrified city bus segment.

Mieke Glorieux 
Managing Director Busworld

 

How are Europe’s big cities switching their public transport to e-mobility? Cities such as Hamburg or Copenhagen are going full steam ahead with the electrification of their scheduled buses.

Mieke Glorieux I have heard that the French city of Metz is busy buying electric buses. There is a lot happening in the area of public transport electrification in Amsterdam too. In general, and this is nothing new, most cities are lacking the charging infrastructure. And money. It’s a relatively large investment that they need to make. Here in Brussels it’s all rather sluggish because our government, made up of Flemings and Walloons, usually takes a long time to reach such decisions.

What are the biggest challenges in the bus sector today?

Mieke Glorieux The tour bus sector needs to be completely revitalised after the Covid lockdowns. People need to regain their trust and overcome their fear of contracting the virus when they sit in a bus. Of course, that applies to the use of scheduled buses too. In terms of passenger numbers, all public transport is a long way from where it was before the pandemic. New blood is another problem. There is a severe shortage of bus drivers! I was recently at a dinner with a number of owners of travel companies. There, the bosses were having to drive the buses themselves because they no longer had enough drivers. Many had switched careers to become truck drivers.

What do you think of the MAN Lion’s City E that we’re driving from Munich to Limerick on our Electrifying Europe tour?

Mieke Glorieux The model was one of our stars of Busworld 2019, where test drives were offered to the public for the first time. There was always quite a throng around the bus. Personally, I really like the design, and the many visitors to the fair who were bustling in and around the bus told me that it was very comfortable. In my opinion, the MAN Lion’s City E is a very attractive offering in the electric public bus sector.

Text   Boris Pieritz
Photos   Lara Freiburger

#Electromobility#Day 6#ElectrifyingEuropeTour#Bus#LionsCityE
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