A fleet of all-electric buses is scheduled to start rolling – quietly – around the streets of Newport, after the city’s bus company ordered fifteen new single deck buses from Chinese manufacturer Yutong. The move is the first in what will become a growing number of electric buses on the streets of Wales, as local authorities seek to remove diesel engined vehicles from city centres.
The first buses are set to go into service in February 2020, with the balance following a few months later. The zero emission vehicles will make up 15% of the city’s bus fleet.
“Newport Transport is delighted to be working with partners Yutong and Zenobe to deliver cleaner, more environmentally friendly transport for the people of Newport,” said Scott Pearson, MD of Newport Transport. “This is the start of an ambitious project using green technology to improve transport solutions for the city and its residents.”
In February 2019, Newport was awarded a £1.342m government grant via the Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme to help pay for the new buses. And it has arranged a funding deal with battery storage specialist Zenobe to finance the buses and associated infrastructure. The project will use electricity created from the bus company’s rooftop solar PV panels, via storage batteries, to help power the new buses.
The 39 seater buses, apart from being quiet, smooth and clean, will feature air conditioning, LED lighting and USB charging points. The vehicles are designed to have a working range of around 200 miles, before needing to be recharged – more than enough for a shift on the bus routes around Newport.