After four years of HIGH anticipation, the wait proved worthwhile! Ashish Bhatia navigates the flourishing landscape of greener bus and coach mobility suppliers.


Busworld International returned to its roots, setting the stage for a successful edition in Brussels right from the outset. The 2023 edition presented in all its grandeur with the towering Atomium symbolising scientific progress. The flagship building was among the constants from the 25th Anniversary Edition of the mega bus and coach fair in 2019. This year the fair recorded a footfall of 40,120 visitors from 111 countries, hosting a whopping 350 press members from 111 countries. Mieke Glorieux, Managing Director of Busworld Europe thanked all exhibitors, visitors and speakers for their loyal participation. “We are eternally grateful for the confirmation of your trust and enthusiasm after four years. And most importantly we’ll be back in two years this time!” she exclaimed. The leg muscles faced a workout marathon in the colossal 75,000 sq. m. exhibitor spread out, conquering 7.8 kms of aisle tours alone. 526 exhibitors from 38 countries made their presence felt.

This year also marked the milestone of 182 brand new inclusions in the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) exhibitor list from different regions around the world: Ermisbus from Greece, Gelushi from Egypt, Habas from Turkey, Ikarus from Hungary, JBM from India, Rampini from Italy, Quantron from Germany, Skoda from Czech Republic, Steyr Automotive from Austria, TAM from Slovenia and VagBus Bus from Romania. The blend of the new exhibitors in the mix lent to a wider reach and a greater impact than in the past exhibitions with a total of 75 bus and coach manufacturers (up from 66 in 2019). 222 vehicles were on display across the inner exhibition halls with 29 demonstration vehicles parked outside for a handsome experience of the latest features and advancements. Turkey led the exhibits with 96 companies, Germany with 79 companies, and China with 61 companies. The signature Busworld touch rekindled old memories as it allowed for soaking in deep insights about the future of bus and coach led mobility.

The European ZEB Conference and the Busworld Digital Awards were the other marquee inclusions this year. The European ZEB Conference, for instance, coincided with Busworld Europe. The conference drew from past editions held across venues in Paris (2021), Online (2020), Cologne (2018) and London (2016). The fifteenth edition drew in 450 attendees from the zero-emissions stakeholders. A noteworthy collaboration between Busworld Foundation and ZEB, it put the spotlight on zero-emission long-distance coaches.


20th Busworld Vehicle Awards

Continuing with the old tradition of physical vehicle awards that have been a major draw at the event, this year, the role of digitalisation, an increasingly significant one, had the jury focus on the category of digital solutions. A separate jury judged the participation of the digital exhibitors and the nominees responsible for heightening the productivity of the buses and coaches. They made a compelling case for the jury and the competition levels were high. The 20th Busworld Vehicle Awards honoured excellence in Safety, Ecology, Comfort, and Design.


Bus Category

The Grand Award Bus: Mercedes-Benz eCitaro

Runners-up (alphabetical order): Anadolu Isuzu Citivolt and Ebusco 3.0

Label of Excellence DESIGN: VDL Bus & Coach Citea New Generation

Label of Excellence COMFORT: Mercedes-Benz eCitaro

Label of Excellence ECOLOGY: Ebusco 3.0

Label of Excellence SAFETY: Anadolu Isuzu Citivolt


Coach Category

The Grand Award Coach: Setra S 516 HDH

Runners-up (alphabetical order): MAN Truck &

Bus – Neoplan Tourliner L and Van Hool T16 Astron

Label of Excellence DESIGN: Yutong T15 E

Label of Excellence COMFORT: Setra S 516 HDH and Van Hool T16 Astron

Label of Excellence ECOLOGY: Yutong T15 E

Label of Excellence SAFETY: Setra S 516 HDH

Digital Awards, the first edition

This year the maiden edition of Digital Awards within the Digital Mobility Solutions Conference, another first at Busworld was received well by the stakeholders of the industry. It was admitted that the world of buses and coaches cannot exist without all the digital solutions that contribute to being as safe, efficient and operational as possible. Marc Vanhoutte, Chairman of the Busworld Awards explained, “It was a necessary add-on to the existing Vehicle Awards and we received a lot of positive feedback on it. The signal was clear that Busworld has its eyes on the digital bus and coach transformation”. Co-Chairman Thorsten Wagner, Editor-In-Chief of the German magazine ‘Bus Blickpunkt’ added, “Digital is the future of bus and coach! It is fascinating what happens on the market and we loved to define the winners together with all the different expert jury members.”

The Digital Awards were divided into four different categories:

‘Digital On-Board Comfort’ comprises everything from new entertainment systems to Human Machine Interface (HMI) Solutions, that make the voyage experience for passengers as well as drivers more enjoyable and comfortable.

The winner was MAN Truck & Bus and their new Digital Cockpit with SmartSelect. The new Digital Cockpit from MAN is a clear step into the HMI future. With its innovative ‘SmartSelect’ operation and the full integration of the new electric platform and the latest ADAS systems it helps the driver to concentrate on his/her job without irrelevant distractions.

Other nominees were: Actia for ‘ACTiVi solution’ and Navaho Technologies for their ‘Navaho Transport Systems’.

‘Digital Operational Excellence’ is very important to manage one’s fleet in a way that combines efficiency and sustainability with telematics and other systems, that cannot be omitted today by any means.

The winner was Iveco Bus with ‘IVECO ON Heavy Buses Digital Services’. The IVECO ON Digital Services for Heavy Buses meets the needs of most PTAs and PTOs in terms of proactive maintenance and downtime reduction with specialised KPIs and trends available on online reports, as well as remote diagnosis and programming. The protection against cyber attacks is another focus of the system. Multi- brand data management with the ‘agnostic’ telematics system is possible as well as the integration of third-party app., which was the biggest reason to vote for this all-encompassing telematics system.

Other nominees were: TOTT UP for ‘GPS Training Partner’ and ZF Group for SCALAR.

‘Digitally Enhanced Driving’ is all about partially and fully autonomous vehicles and all the sub-technologies and tools they require to be able to perform.

The winner was Karsan with the autonomous e-ATAK. The Turkish OEM developed and produced the world’s first SAE-level 4 serial production autonomous bus. Together with the renowned partner ADASTEC, a software company, Karsan developed and implemented the software of the autonomous vehicle and the lidar and sensors applied to it together. The fully homologated midi bus has already been in operation since 2021 in the US and since 2022 in the EU (Norway), which makes it prize worthy in a very tangible way. It could be test-driven on the premises of Busworld Europe.

Other nominees were: Anadolu Isuzu for their ‘V2X-System and Daimler Buses for ‘Active Drive Assist 2’.

Last, but not least, the category ‘E-Mobility Management’ has been incorporated in the awards. Modern e-mobility is no longer about vehicles alone, but about whole systems to operate and charge a fleet of buses in a way that saves time and money.

The winner was ChargePoint/TWAICE for their ‘Battery Health Package’. ChargePoint and TWAICE as leaders in their fields of expertise teamed up to combine their unique strengths and bring the world’s first battery analytic solution that is seamlessly integrated in fleet management software to the market, independent from single OEMs. TWAICE brought their expertise in battery analytic, building on top of the ChargePoints Data Hub, and jointly integrating it into the ChargePoint system for maximum customer value. The all-encompassing and OEM-agnostic approach to an absolute focus topic in electromobility and battery safety convinced the jury to the full.

Other nominees were: MAN Truck & Bus for their ‘eManager’ software and Rampini for the hydrogen system ‘Hy4Drive’.

Innovations 2023, a new concept

Busworld Europe 2023 witnessed an exciting showcase of innovation, with companies competing for the prestigious title of “Busworld Europe 2023 Innovation.” The event saw a two-step process that engaged both the Busworld Awards jury and the visitors, culminating in the recognition of 10 outstanding innovations.

First, the Busworld Awards jury carefully defined a shortlist from the pool of participants, recognising the most promising and ground breaking innovations in the field. This initial selection process ensured that only the most noteworthy innovations advanced to the next round.

The second phase of innovation recognition involved the enthusiastic participation of the event’s visitors. They had the opportunity to cast their votes of ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in the respective participant booths. This interactive approach not only engaged attendees but also allowed for a broader perspective on what innovations truly resonated with the industry’s stakeholders.

Following this rigorous process, the following companies were celebrated as the top innovators and awarded the esteemed title of “Busworld Europe 2023 Innovation”:

l 3 in 1 DRL/DI/POS combination light

by Superlee Corporation

l Athenia ENVI Heat Pump with R744

by Thermo King

l CO2 Heat Pump by Konvekta

l EcoBusRapidDesign by Ctrine


l Eleather by Generation Phoenix

l I6s Hydrogen Efficient by Irizar

l JTSolar Glass by Jaakko Tuote Oy

l Reflexcontrol by Saint Gobain

l ServoE by Bosch

l Twiliner Coach Seat by Twiliner

This year was about taking in the reflections of the bus and coach manufacturers and turning the spotlight to ancillary suppliers in Europe. They collectively narrowed down technologies to mitigate climate change and addressed the demands of the future of mobility. The 2023 edition had the task for exhibitors cut out and they did not disappoint. At Busworld Europa 2023, MAN Truck & Bus, for example, showcased the latest NEOPLAN Tourliner claimed to have received a major technical upgrade with inclusions like the OptiView digital mirror-replacement system. To mark the 20th Anniversary of the NEOPLAN Tourliner, the OEM launched a high-quality Diamond Edition of the model. Daimler Buses came in with eight buses and coaches from Mercedes-Benz and Setra and brought along vehicles like the eCitaro G FuelCell for test drives in the outdoor area of the exhibition venue. It also lined up the premiere of a fully electric fuel cell eCitaro solo. The latest NMC3 battery, Brazilian eO500U city bus chassis, and the new Active Brake Assist 6 (ABA 6) emergency braking assistant besides the Preventive Brake Assist 2 and the new Sideguard Assist 2 kept the visitors engaged.

Solaris drew footfalls offering an experience of two zero-emission buses: the Urbino 18 electric bus equipped with a new generation of batteries, on a new driveline architecture and an articulated hydrogen bus. With a fleet of 11 vehicles, Iveco drew attention to its sustainable mobility journey this year. From the e-Daily minibuses and chassis, e-way new generation, to the Streetway Elec and Crossway Le Elec. It also highlighted its collaboration with FPT Industrial on the latest NMC Battery technology besides the integration with ADAS for European General Safety Regulation compliance. Irizar attracted the visitors with its “efficient” range. From the new i6S Efficient Hydrogen coach to the new i6S coach and the i8 coach. It also showcased the electric ie Tram. Otokar, Karsan, ZF, Eberspaecher, Tribus Group, Masats and JEMA Energy was among the other exhibitors with a noteworthy presence this year.

Busworld International concluded on a high and took the opportunity to announce that Busworld Europe 2025 would be hosted at Brussels Expo from October 04-09 with sales for existing exhibitors commencing in spring 2024. New exhibitors will have the opportunity to secure their spot from May 2024.


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