Scotland’s first electric bus launch
Minister for Transport and Veterans, Keith Brown MSP, has launched the first free running, fully electric bus to be used for a local bus service in Scotland. The service links the ferry ports at Cairnryan to the railway station in Stranraer. It is being operated six days a week with a 27-seat battery powered Optare Solo SR by McLeans of Stranraer. The bus was part funded through the Scottish Government’s Green Bus Fund and is supported by the Regional Transport Partnership, SWestrans (South West of Scotland Transport Partnership).
With the addition of these vehicles, the number of Optare electric buses in UK service is now approaching 50. Optare Sales Director, John Horn, said, ‘In addition to the known environmental benefits, this is a large enough number from which to obtain a clear picture of the operating and commercial benefits of free running electric buses. The evidence is steadily building that electric vehicles, the introduction of which Optare has pioneered in the UK, have a place in the public transport system when used selectively. The vehicles are proving reliable, resulting in lower maintenance costs, and running costs are significantly lower than an equivalent diesel engine bus. The savings in operating costs that this results in can deliver a payback on the additional cost of an EV that is well within the lifetime of the vehicle. Along with technological developments that have increased the range that an EV can achieve, this makes them commercially viable across a wider spread of operations.’