E-Citaro trialled in Harrogate

Mercedes-Benz’s electric-powered eCitaro has been trialled by Transdev in North Yorkshire.

The week-long trials have taken place on The Harrogate Bus Company’s popular route 1 linking Harrogate and Knaresborough and follow experience gained with two alternative electric single-deck buses. A Chinese built Yutong E10 was tested in February of this year, while a BYD ADL electric bus was trialled on the same route in October 2020.

Following an expression of interest to the DfT Zero Emissions Bus Regional Area (ZEBRA) scheme, the North Yorkshire County Council has been invited to submit a business case to support its bid for funding. If the bid succeeds, the council will work in partnership with Transdev to introduce 39 zero-emission electric buses based in Harrogate over the next three years at a cost of £20 million, with £11.5 million being invested directly by Transdev.

It would see 20 single-deck and 19 double-deck buses would be introduced, along with supporting charging infrastructure, on routes across Harrogate and beyond including the high-profile 36 linking the town with Leeds and Ripon, building on rises of more than 21% in customer numbers in the last few years. The county council’s bid for funds must be submitted by the end of January 2022, with a decision from the DfT expected by March 2022.

Transdev is looking to build on its positive experience of running electric buses, after it became the first operator in Britain to introduce eight opportunity-charged ‘Harrogate Electrics’ buses in 2018. At that time, it became the only bus operator in Yorkshire to win funding of £2.25 million from the Government to create Britain’s first Low Emission Bus Town.

“This exciting trial of the Mercedes-Benz E-Citaro marks the first time this new design has been tested in service in the UK” – Transdev CEO, Alex Hornby

Transdev CEO, Alex Hornby, said: “This exciting trial of the Mercedes-Benz eCitaro marks the first time this new design has been tested in service in the UK, reflecting our ambition to deliver a zero-emission, high quality product for our customers across Harrogate and beyond.

“This is the third stage of our comparative trials of electric bus designs on one of our most popular routes, which will help us to make informed choices between options to invest in electric power. We’ve also invited our customers who experienced this new bus in service with us to let us know what they think of it – we’ve already had a positive reaction and we’re keen to hear more, as our customers’ views are vitally important to us.

“We hope that alongside North Yorkshire County Council’s bid for Government support, our own multi-million-pound investment will turn our vision of a completely zero-emission bus network powered by a fully-electric bus fleet into reality.”

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