Leicester goes electric

Transport Minister, Richard Holden MP’s announcement of further funding for electric buses and a Bus Centre of Excellence took place during a visit to First Leicester’s Abbey Lane depot where he was able to see progress with the depot’s electrification and sample the recently completed first example of the Wrightbus GB Kite Electroliner single-deck electric bus. B&CB will be bringing you the full story in the 7 April issue.

Wrightbus GB Kite Electroliner: 11.667m long, 2.52m wide and 3.38m high, the first example for Leicester has 33 fixed seats with seven tip-ups in the wheelchair and buggy bays allowing for a maximum of 57 standees. The floor is flat and unobstructed through to the rear seat, the final three rows of seats are on podiums above the rear wheels with one row rearward facing. Camera mirror systems are installed.

The vehicle’s electric drive features a 280kW Voith motor, ZF axles and 340kWh of Forsee Power installed battery capacity, rechargeable at 150kW through plug-in connectors on either side at the rear. A range of 150 miles is expected from a single charge.

First Leicester Abbey Lane depot: Heliox are supplying 24 dual-headed 150kW chargers, eight triple headed 180kW chargers and two 40kWmobile charges. The initial phase has involved the installation of charging islands in the main parking area plus two pole mounted chargers in the workshops. The next phase, currently underway, will see gantry mounted chargers installed at the rear of the depot.

Project Partners: Electrification of First Leicester’s operations is being delivered by a partnership between First Bus, Leicester City Council, Wrightbus, Heliox and Brookes Contracting with DfT Zebra funding. It forms part of the ambitious Leicester Enhanced Bus Partnership Scheme involving six operators which aims to make the whole of Leicester’s bus network electric by 2030.

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