Four Higer STEEDs join Big Lemon
Brighton-based independent bus operator, The Big Lemon, is having four Higer STEED electric buses delivered. The addition of the vehicles follows its successful application to the DfT’s Ultra-Low Emission Bus Fund in 2018. It has also received continued support of investors in its community to acquire the new buses.
The addition of the STEEDs to The Big Lemon’s fleet follows a trial of the vehicles last year on all its routes.
The vehicle’s name is an acronym of Sustainable Transport Electric Energy Delivered and they are built by Higer Bus in China and supplied by Dublin-based Harris Bus & Coach. They will be the first of their kind in the UK.
The four STEEDs will join the operator’s current electric bus fleet, which includes: two Optare Solos converted from diesel to electric by Magtec in Sheffield; four brand new Optare Solo EVs; two second-hand Optare Solo EVs originally operated in Dorset; three second-hand Optare Versa EVs originally operated in Coventry; and an electric minibus. The four additional electric buses will enable the company to run all its services with zero-emission vehicles.
One of the new STEEDs is already with the operator, but the other three were delayed, first by the coronavirus, and then by the closure of the Suez Canal following the grounding of the Ever Given earlier this year. They arrived in Southampton on Friday (4 June 2021).
The Higer STEEDs have six CATL battery packs with 174kw of stored energy and have a maximum range of 155 miles in winter (165 miles in summer). They have 26 passenger seats and capacity for 22 standing passengers.
“Air quality is a huge issue in Brighton & Hove, and The Big Lemon is committed to a fully zero-emissions electric fleet this year” – The Big Lemon Founder and Chief Executive, Tom Druitt
The Big Lemon Founder and Chief Executive, Tom Druitt, said: “We are very excited indeed to be imminently launching four brand new electric buses, as part of our transition to a fully electric fleet, ensuring all our bus services can be operated by zero-emission buses.
“Air quality is a huge issue in Brighton & Hove, and The Big Lemon is committed to a fully zero-emissions electric fleet this year.
“We are very grateful to our passengers, our investors, and of course our incredible staff team who have worked hard to make this possible.
“I would also like to thank Chris Haughton, General Manager of Harris Bus & Coach for all his help, and Denise Harris, CEO, for all her support.
“And to our community here in Brighton & Hove and supporters across the UK, thank you for believing in us and supporting us; The Big Lemon is leading the way in zero-emissions sustainable transport and it’s thanks to you.”
- The four new buses will be launched at The Big Lemon’s inaugural London to Brighton Electric Vehicle Rally on Sunday 18 July, sponsored by EDF.