With the delivery of 5 Futura FMD2-148 vehicles, VDL Bus & Coach is making its debut in public and intercity transport in Iceland. This is a milestone in more ways than one, as it is taking place in cooperation with a new customer, Hópbílar from Hafnarfjörður.
“Although our coaches have been a familiar sight on Icelandic roads for many years, never before has a Futura FMD2 been delivered in Iceland,” says Pieter Gerdingh, Business Manager Coach Range VDL Bus & Coach. “We are proud that with these multifunctional buses we can further contribute to making this beautiful island even more accessible for visitors and residents. The still young cooperation with VélRás, our independent distributor in Iceland, is already bearing fruit. It is our ambition to remain the market leader and attract more new customers to our overall portfolio.”
Operator, Hópbílar, from Hafnarfjörður, is celebrating their 25th anniversary this year. The company has long been a major player in Iceland, active in public and intercity transport throughout the country. Hópbílar cooperates with international travel organisations as well as aircraft and cruise companies. Its fleet consists of more than 110 vehicles, including coaches, public transport buses and mini/midi buses. Many of these are suitable for wheelchair transport. In Iceland, this has become an increasingly important issue in recent years.
According to Gerdingh: “Our strategy, which focuses on lightweight buses and sustainability, fits in seamlessly with Hópbílar’s ambitions. For example, their drivers have been trained in eco-driving and the owners of Hópbílar are very consciously working to further reduce their carbon footprint.”
“From the beginning, Hópbílar has focused on minimising the negative impact of our operations on the environment,” explains purchasing manager, Örn Óskarsson. “With this in mind, in 2003 we implemented an environmental management system in accordance with the requirements of the ISO-14001 standard. This obliges us to choose suppliers based on our focus on the environment.”
“We know that VDL Bus & Coach is one of the largest bus manufacturers in Europe and that they produce good buses. But they are also one of the largest producers of electric buses in Europe, which clearly demonstrates their emphasis on and interest in environmental issues. Although we did not opt for electric buses, VDL shares this environmental interest with Hópbílar and this was an important factor in our decision.”
The 5 VDL Futura FMD2 vehicles are used in the longest available version: 14.8 metres. Some of them will be equipped with a wheelchair lift. The floor height of 1,250 mm offers easy entry and exit.
The vehicles will operate mainly in the south and south-west of Iceland on different routes connecting the capital Reykjavik and the surrounding areas. In addition, they will regularly travel to Iceland’s second city, Akureyri, in the north of the country. Futuras will also be deployed on routes to the south, to the ferry that operates to the island of Vestmannaeyjar.