Reading converts and trials electric bus
Reading Buses is trialling an ADL Enviro400 that it has converted to be electric.
The vehicle was converted by Magtec. The double-decker was formerly one of its diesel-electric hybrids new in 2010 that run the bulk of the Yellow 26 service. Magtec have removed the generator and replaced the batteries with a more modern system that is capable of covering more mileage.
It is thought to be the first electric bus to be in regular service in the Thames Valley outside London in a major trial of all-electric technology. It is to be given a new exterior design to showcase its electric credentials.
Robert Williams, Reading Buses Chief Executive Officer, said: “To all intents and purposes the bus looks like any other yellow 26, but it is quieter. We have replaced the diesel generator with more batteries to gain added experience of electric vehicles. We will be running the electric bus on an extended trial on yellow 26 for the next nine months or so before trying it on other routes – it’s a big first for the town and area.
“Wider roll out would need significant investment in charging infrastructure, but we want to gain experience with the technology to see how it performs in a real-world scenario. In the meantime, Reading Buses is still very much committed to using compressed natural gas. Over one third of the fleet in Reading runs on carbon natural gas.
“Work is also underway with Reading Borough Council to retro-fit all remaining diesel vehicles to the latest standards by the end of the year. This means they will emit fewer particulates than a single modern car – regardless of occupancy.
“At the same time, our telematics system encourages smooth, efficient driving, and an internal campaign is underway to encourage staff to switch engines off when parked to reduce idling.”