Oxford Bus Company trials Yutong electric single-decker

Go-Ahead owned Oxford Bus Company is trialling a Yutong electric E12 single-decker in service.

It is operating on both services 3A and 6 for a two-week trial. The white bus has had Oxford Bus Company branding added to it and is being charged via a diesel generator at the operator’s Cowley depot, in the stead of actual charging infrastructure. This arrangement is similar to how a trial of the vehicle at Tower Transit-owned Go Whippet in Cambridgeshire was conducted last year.

The trial comes as Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council proposes that Oxford city centre could become the world’s first Zero Emissions Zone. This would see all polluting vehicles phased out of the area from 2020. As vehicle technology develops it is proposed the Zero Emissions Zone will extend to cover all non-electric vehicles across the city centre by 2035.

Oxford Bus Company MD, Phil Southall, said: “The proposals for the Zero Emissions Zone are great in principle, if the technology, battery capacity and vehicle range is ready for vehicles to sufficiently switch to electric in two years. The bus we have on trial can’t do a full day in service as it only has a range of around 150 miles.

“This trial is an important part of the journey and will enable us and key stakeholders to better understand the technology, what the current standard is and better inform everyone involved in developing a strategy to deliver a greener future for the city of Oxford. We have always been committed to being at the forefront of leading the UK on environmental technology innovation and over half of our buses are powered by hybrid technology.”

Leader of Oxford City Council, Cllr Susan Brown, said: “Earlier this year we secured £1.7m of Government funding to upgrade 78 buses to Euro VI standard and to convert five of Oxford’s sightseeing buses to become the city’s first fully-electric double-decker buses.

“The trialling of the fully electric single-decker bus is another exciting step forward for Oxford, moving along the road to zero. We are looking forward to seeing the bus in operation and to hearing Oxford Bus Company’s thoughts on how we can continue to work together to deliver the Zero Emission Zone proposals and cleaner buses in Oxford.”

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