In partnership with DfT, Bristol City Council and University of the West of England (UWE), First West of England has introduced two ADL Enviro400 plug in hybrid electrics in Bristol. The buses use Geo-Fencing GPS technology to run on pure electric mode in areas of low air quality such as Gloucester Road, producing zero emissions. Range extension is achieved with a small diesel engine driven generator set which only runs in areas of better air quality. Five of this type of vehicle have been built for the UK so far with the other three being introduced in east London as part of the ZeEUS Project. Engineers and scientists will examine how the buses perform and their environmental impact.
An induction charging plate has been installed at UWE’s Frenchay Campus for wirelessly charging the buses. They will be used on Service 72, which runs from the city centre to the Campus via Whiteladies Road and Gloucester Road and are expected to enter service at the end of January.
MD of First West of England, James Freeman, said, ‘Bristol is the perfect place to trial technology like this. During the Green Capital year in 2015 we trialled a Bio-Methane powered “poo bus” so it is great that we now have another exciting trial. These buses will make a massive impact to air quality as they spend a huge part of the day running on pure electric mode (almost like a tram without rails), meaning that in areas (such as the City Centre) where pollution is a problem, these buses will quite literally be a breath of fresh air.’