Minibuses drive where people are. They are a crucial part of some people’s lives and are especially important for those who may have accessibility needs. They pick people up from populated areas and drop them in populated areas, with all of the associated convenience, but also for combustion engine vehicles, the associated emissions. In the The Netherlands the government has set an ambitious target to transition to zero-emission mobility by 2050.
In addition, an agreement made in April 2022 states all light commercial vehicles in the major municipalities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague Eidhoven and Tilburg are required to be emissions-free by 2025, with the rest of the country following by 2030.
Willemsen de Koning (WdK) operate a fleet of minibuses providing accessible transport. BEDEO have been working with them to electrify their fleet.
Maximising passenger space, with minimum impact on payload
WdK minibuses needed space for passengers and to be wheelchair-accessible, whilst maintaining the maximum payload of the vehicle. BEDEO vehicles are lighter than many competitors which enables more passenger space and the ability to accommodate mobility aids better than other similar electric vehicles.
In addition to the essential space and weight benefits, electrifying their fleet with BEDEO vehicles enabled WdK a cheaper total cost of ownership, through lower servicing and fuel costs. The BEDEO electric vans also deliver an improved customer experience and brand image with improved passenger comfort due to the reduced noise, vibration and gear change jolts than a diesel equivalent, especially when in traffic.
Partnering to roll out Willemsen de Koning’s electrified fleet
BEDEO is proud to offer great customer service and support for companies that are electrifying their fleets. Fortunately, WdK had a great deal of technical knowledge of electric vans, but still faced some challenges around overcoming range anxiety and how to make a large group of their drivers feel comfortable using full electric vehicles.
BEDEO worked with WdK to design and roll-out a comprehensive training programme including how to operate the vehicle, how to load it and the steps to take with the smart interface and notifications in the vehicle. This training, combined with extensive on-the-ground support of the drivers and the fleet managers if issues arose, ensured these challenges were addressed.
Continuing to work together, WdK is still providing BEDEO with important feedback so that continuous improvements can be made as well as consistent support offered. In partnership with WkD, BEDEO continually update a guide to the vehicles, so all new employees at WdK can be kept up to date.
‘Not a taxi company, a people company’
As a business WdK covers more than a hundred million kilometres per year, more than 2,500 times round the Earth. Their focus on people, planet and profit ensures that wherever they can, they act sustainably and we are proud to support them in their drive to use CO2 neutral vehicles.