Electric Yutongs launch into service in Leeds

West Yorkshire’s first-ever zero-emission bus fleet has now entered service in Leeds.

Operated by First, the nine Yutong E10s have begun operating on the Service 5 Halton Moor Circular which includes the Leeds CityBus route through the city centre and will run every ten minutes Monday to Saturday.

Total investment in the buses and charging infrastructure is £7.3m and includes £1.7m funding from the DfT’s Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme (ULEB) which First West Yorkshire secured in 2019 with the support of the combined authority.

Each Yutong E10 can carry 70 passengers (currently restricted due to social distancing) and has a range of 200 miles from one overnight charge, which means they can operate on the network all day without recharging. It is estimated each bus will save 45 tonnes of carbon emissions a year compared to a Euro VI diesel-engine bus. They feature audio-visual next-stop technology, USB charging points, wifi connectivity, LED lighting and are fully air-conditioned. The Chinese-manufactured buses are supplied by Castleford-based Pelican Bus and Coach.

To compensate for the low noise level when moving, the Yutong E10 has a special acoustic vehicle alerting system (AVAS) fitted which sounds to help waiting passengers with hearing or visual impairment as the bus approaches a stop and also has the BusEYE early warning device to improve road safety with other vehicles and pedestrians. Electricity charging infrastructure for the fleet has been installed at First’s Hunslet Park depot by Zenobe Energy.

First West Yorkshire MD, Paul Matthews, said: “Today marks a significant moment in our strategy to switch to a fully zero emission fleet across the region in the years ahead. We have worked closely with our city and regional authority partners and leaders in their fields in Pelican and Zenobe Energy to combine vehicle, battery and charging technology that heralds a new era in sustainable transport.

“These all-electric buses will enable us to capitalise on the bus priority measures that have just been introduced in the city centre, helping to create cleaner air, reduce congestion and give customers reliable journey times in superior comfort.”

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