PACA authorities announce two regional express lines will deploy electric long-distances coaches next year

The Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA) council has announced that two of its regional coach lines will become fully electric by next summer. Operated by Transdev, the coach lines concerned are the LER 19, which connects Toulon and Aix-en-Province and LER 23, which ferries passengers between Avignon and Aix-en-Province. A total of 10 buses will be used to cover the routes, crossing the three southern departments of Bouches-du-Rhône, Var and Vaucluse.

“With this strong and unprecedented decision, I have decided to place our region in pole position in Europe for the use of electric buses on long-distance inter-city lines, thus avoiding the emission of 600 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere every year,” explained Renaud Muselier, President of the Regional Council for the PACA region. “This is a step further in the fight against climate change in which the south region is strongly committed to preserve our environment and therefore the health of our fellow citizens.”

Each of the buses being deployed to connect the areas is capable of journeys of up to 200km (124 miles) and is powered by a 374kWh battery pack. This ensures that they will have the longevity and the range to complete these long-distance journeys, allowing environmentally-conscious citizens in the south of France to navigate the country without compromising their carbon footprint. The lines are expected to be operational by July 2019.

The announcement comes after other exciting developments for the future of the electric vehicle (EV) industry in the south of France earlier this year. In February, the region held the first ever Energy for Smart Mobility Forum, a joint venture between Capenergies and GreenUnivers. At the event, delegates from Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands joined with PACA representatives to discuss how environmentally-friendly vehicles could be more efficiently deployed. It was deemed such a success that a date for next year’s edition of the Forum has already been set.

In March, key players in the EV battery charging industry gathered in Nice for the seventh annual edition of the Assizes of Recharging Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles (IRVE) forum. Here, major players in the sector discussed the future of European recharging and how to finance the construction of a proper recharging infrastructure. The event’s founder, Isabelle Rivière, told La Tribune that she believes the EV industry will explode in the next three years.