This morning, Castrosua launched Nelec, the first totally customisable busbody on a Scania electric chassis. This new mobility solution is available in two versions: low-floor buses for urban transport needs (Class I) and low-entry commuter buses (Class II), enabling the Galician firm to enter both market segments, thanks to its offering of solutions that meet the urban electromobility requirements.
This first bus that Castrosua and Scania have developed together makes it possible to offer a solution to the unique mobility needs of each city or customer. Thanks to the highly customisable nature of these vehicles, and the considerable attention to detail, we are able to come up with unique and exclusive designs, not only in terms of the visual and conceptual elements, but also in terms of the way in which the vehicles are equipped. In this sense, Nelec offers a wide range of possibilities, from the number of passenger doors (two or three) to the length of the vehicle (11.5 to 13 meters), while also offering the client the possibility to choose the elements from a wide range of equipment that best adapt to their customers’ needs and habits, thanks to our precise and flexible system.
Although the prototype that we have launched today features 24 seats designed by Castrosua, two places for wheelchairs and standing room for 52, the design may be customised to transport almost one hundred passengers, with a maximum of 34 seats, two places for wheelchairs users and standing area for 63 passengers.
The fact that this model has been completely designed using 3D technology is fundamental, as it facilitates the development of all of the customisation and adaptation options, as well as streamlining the production, repair and maintenance processes, and, likewise, customers are provided with advanced and comprehensive presentations that aid them in their decision-making process.
Safety: consolidated and far-sighted
Nelec offers significant improvements in passenger and driver comfort, having taken a qualitative leap in terms of passenger protection thanks to its in-built active and passive safety systems, in addition to the protective mechanisms against SARS-CoV-2. These are strategic decisions which go beyond current legal requirements.
That is why Castrosua and Scania have chosen to incorporate features such as lane change warning systems -which are not mandatory according to legal provisions-, an ultrasonic proximity sensor -with automatic emergency braking-, state-of-the-art lateral radars that detect obstacles to this model, alongside a white noise system and total exterior vision system -with cameras replacing conventional rear-view mirrors-, to offer a truly advanced mobility solution. In designing this new vehicle we have also taken into account future road safety needs, for instance regarding fire (R-118), or the resistance of the superstructure to protect it from rollover (R-66, even though this is not required for urban vehicles), taking into consideration the real obstacles that these vehicles face and any possible interactions that might take place as they transit through our cities.
With Nelec, we are looking to offer users an attractive experience before, during and after they get on the bus, and, as such, this new model features a totally new interior and exterior design.
This vehicle offers a specific conduct for the air conditioning air circuit, which will prove very useful in reducing the risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Likewise, and along the same line, these buses have been fitted with foot pedals or photoelectric sensors that are activated using hand tracking methodologies to replace conventional stop buttons which require physical contact. All of these elements have been designed in-house by Castrosua.
Additionally, Nelec can also be fitted with other features, including devices that automatically measure the passengers’ body temperature with built-in facemask detectors; feet disinfecting mats; materials that prevent virus adhesion on surfaces and that facilitate the cleaning and disinfection protocols carried out by bus fleet operators; or automatic hand sanitizer dispensers at the bus entry and exit points, and protection screens (full or partial) that separate driver and passengers, among others.
Other advances: innovation is our historical signature
Nelec is an environmentally friendly vehicle thanks to its fully electric chassis and increased energy efficiency, with LED lighting being used in the whole vehicle to create an open and comfortable passenger cabin.
With great attention to detail in the design of the driver’s compartment and the inclusion of other innovative elements such as automatic interior lighting sensors and external rain sensors, Nelec is truly unique. Nelec’s many features makes it the perfect choice given that the sustainable and customisable mobility solutions that it offers, not only suit the present reality, but can be adapted to meet the specific demands of our customers.
As president of Castrosua, Juan Luis Castro, indicated at the virtual launch event, “We created Nelec as a way to meet current market demands while also staying true to the elements that have always characterised us”. After expressing his gratitude to Scania and other technological partners, Castro went on to say that “what we have here today is a milestone that has been achieved thanks to our team, the Castrosua family, a team driven by excellence, and this milestone has been reached by combining innovation, reliability and credibility, allowing us to continue adding value to the field of passenger transport”. The president also stressed the fact that “throughout Castrosua’s history we have shown our capacity to constantly adapt to market needs, given that we started by producing suburban vehicles and long-distance coaches, before going on to focus on the urban market segment for which we produced the first Plugged electric hybrid (PEHV) vehicles in Spain in 2008, and we have now ventured on the path of electromobility.”
NELEC is a dream that has come true thanks to the perseverance of our team. Getting here has certainly been a long journey, and, as our CEO, Beatriz Castro, affirmed, it has been a trip riddled with anecdotes but also great sacrifice and hard work”. Faced with adversities during key moments of the project, thanks to its highly motivated human team with a common goal, Castrosua has proved itself up to the challenge as it now presents this project to its customers. Nelec has managed to get through 2020 and it will now continue to lead Castrosua in its position at the forefront of the domestic market, while also taking it to new international markets.
With the launch of Nelec, Castrosua seeks to continue to increase its market share in Spain, where it represented 24% in 2020, as well as looking to increase its international presence by making inroads in new international markets.