Ember’s second electric coach secured through CBILS
New coach operation Ember has worked with Triodos Bank UK to secure new lending as part of the government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). A £490,000 loan has helped the company purchase two electric Yutong TCe12 coaches for its first route between Dundee and Edinburgh.
The finance from Triodos Bank UK is allowing the company to launch with two coaches, rather than one, giving Ember the opportunity to run a more frequent service from launch.
Due to launch October, it is thought to be the UK’s first 100% electric intercity coach service and is understood to be one of the first services of its kind in the world. The new coaches, the second of which has been delivered this week, are expected to make the 125-mile round trip between Dundee and Edinburgh on a single charge. The journey is set to take just over 90 minutes one way and will allow passengers to enjoy eco- and user-friendly intercity travel on a route that is currently deemed underserved. Bookings can be made online and travellers will be able to track the bus in real-time using an app.
Ember accessed its funding through CBILS. Ember was expecting delivery of its first vehicle in March, but due to the global pandemic, the delivery was set back by six months as the supply chain was disrupted.
Ember, which was incorporated in June 2019, aims to use this initial two-coach pilot to prove that the technology, operational capacity and demand for electric coach travel is viable. It plans to open up further routes in the future.
The launch has been supported by Dundee City Council from the outset, as part of its mission to decarbonise transport in the city. It has assisted in providing a brand new ultra-fast charging point in the city centre, allowing Ember to charge its coaches efficiently when they are turned around.
Pierce Glennie, co-founder at Ember, said: “Being able to partner with Triodos Bank has given us the confidence to accelerate our plans to provide modern, fully-electric coach services. Building our technology from the ground up means we are optimising everything around a fully electric fleet, allowing us to offer lower prices and a better service, all with zero emissions. We’re hoping to give passengers a taste of the future and show them that unreliable, shaky coaches are a thing of the past.”