Sunday 14 April 2024
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Nottingham

Nottingham City Transport unveils first single-deck electric buses

Nottingham City Transport (NCT) launched its brand new fleet of electric buses today Saturday 9 March.

The buses are on display at an Open Day in Nottingham’s Old Market Square on Saturday 9 March 2024 until 3 pm.

The free event is with seven of its new electric single-deck buses on display for people to view and get on board.

The electric buses come to NCT’s usual high specification but boast several new features, including:

  • air conditioning as standard
  • re-positioned visual next stop screen, including a rear facing screen which can be seen from the wheelchair bay
  • extra leg room between seats
  • bigger buggy bay
  • hearing loop system fitted
  • no tip-up seats in the wheelchair bay, which helps reduce conflict over the use of the space
  • USB-C charging points
  • full-colour destination displays that are easier to see from a distance and in the dark

David Astill, NCT Managing Director said:

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“This is the very start of an exciting new era in the long history of NCT. We are keen to play our part as Nottingham aspires to be carbon-neutral by 2028. The delivery of our first 24 electric buses marks just the start of a programme that will see our remaining diesel-powered buses leave the fleet over the next four years.”

 

He added, “We hope to see many of our customers at the launch on Saturday, and am sure they will be impressed by this further step-change in the quality of service offered by Nottingham’s bus company.”

 

Following a successful joint bid by Nottingham City Transport and Nottingham City Council to the Department for Transport’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) Fund, NCT has ordered 48 electric single-deck buses and installed new charging infrastructure at its Trent Bridge Garage in the Meadows.

 

The total cost of the new buses and infrastructure comes to £32.2m, with £13.4m from ZEBRA and £18.8m from NCT over the lifetime of the vehicles.

Angela Kandola, Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Transport said, “The new buses are a fantastic addition to NCT’s fleet and I’m excited to see they will shortly enter service around the city. I’m sure passengers will enjoy all the new features on board too. Electric buses help to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality, which has a major impact on the health of people and the planet – as well as helping Nottingham work towards our ambition of becoming a carbon neutral city by 2028.”

 

The first 24 buses will enter service in the coming weeks, once the energisation of Trent Bridge Garage is completed and will operate on the following routes:

  • Green 11/A/C to Meadows, Lady Bay, Gamston
  • Pink 30 to Ilkeston Road, Wollaton and Bramcote
  • Blue 39 to Thorneywood and Carlton Valley
  • Blue 40/X to St Ann’s, City Hospital and Edwards Lane Estate
  • Blue 41, 42 to St Ann’s
  • Red 50 to Racecourse Park & Ride, Colwick Industrial Estate and Victoria Retail Park

The remaining 24 single-deck buses will enter service in the first half of 2025. Trials for electric double decks have started and an order for 20 double-deck buses, to enter service in 2026, will be placed soon.

 

Following a rigorous public procurement process and operational trial of many electric buses, NCT has ordered its buses from the world’s largest bus manufacturer Yutong Bus and Coach, with UK-based Pelican Bus and Coach adding about 40% of the value of the buses when finishing them to NCT’s requirements at their factory in Yorkshire.

 

Yutong Bus & Coach have 180,000 electric vehicles operating across 100 countries around the world, where they’ve covered a combined 25.1 billion miles. The first Yutong electric bus started operating in the UK in 2018, with operators in Glasgow, Cardiff, Newport and nearby Leicester speaking very favourably about their performance.

 

Ian Downie, Head of Yutong UK said: “This is a significant step for Nottingham City Transport on their journey to zero emissions. The Nottingham team have challenged us to produce a customer-centric vehicle, and we are extremely proud of what has been achieved. The vehicle is fitted with full-colour front destinations, luxury trimmed high-backed seating, new swept hand poles, illuminated bell pushes, and our electric air conditioning system for maximum customer comfort”.

 

The electric buses are 100% electric and zero-emission when in service, with no tailpipe emissions and are charged directly from the National Grid. They achieve a 79% saving in Well-to-Wheel greenhouse gas emissions compared to existing Euro VI diesel buses.

 

The buses can do a full day in service on a single charge, with the charging infrastructure delivered, supplied and maintained by Zenobē, who work with 90% of the major bus operators in the UK. The EV fleet specialist has also integrated its smart charging software into NCT’s depot infrastructure to optimise charging in the most financially and operationally efficient manner. In addition to a fully managed charging service, Zenobē has also financed 24 batteries on board the vehicles, including a 16-year performance guarantee.

 

Steven Meersman, Co-Founder and Director Zenobē, said: “This is Zenobē’s first project with Nottingham City Transport, we are pleased to be on board to not only deliver the depot’s charging infrastructure but as a long-term EV fleet partner. Our fully managed charging service will allow NCT to focus on continuing to deliver outstanding service for their passengers, knowing their critical charging infrastructure will be maintained and on-board batteries will be guaranteed to meet route requirements for 16 years”.

 

When NCT’s electric bus project is fully delivered, 3,800 tonnes of CO2e will be saved every year. Over the lifetime of the buses, they will also make a significant contribution to wider efforts to improve air quality, with an estimated 31 tonnes of harmful NOx and 777kg of PM2.5 removed from the atmosphere.

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