Westway buys first Yutong electric coaches

London operator Westway Coach Services is purchasing the first two zero-emission electric Yutong coaches for UK operation.

Pelican Bus & Coach has announced the addition of an electric coach to join the Yutong range offered in the UK. The model, provisionally called the TCe12, will be available in the second quarter of 2019.

The same vehicle is already in service in Paris where Flixbus and Keolis have operated over 50 of them for over a year. The engineering design work to produce the coach in right-hand drive is already under way with the first vehicles due to receive an extension to existing type approval later this year. The electric motor and control system is identical to that used in the E10 and E12 buses as well as over 60,000 other Yutong electric buses in service around the world.

The TCe12 will carry 48 passengers and comes with front and centre passenger doors. The centre door and floor section is designed to allow the fitment of a slot-in wheelchair lift in the UK. It has 258Kwh of battery capacity and can be charged with either a 60Kwh, 90Kwh or 120Kwh DC charger. According to Pelican, this makes a full charge possible in less than two hours.

David West, Westway’s MD, said: “We are delighted to be the first operator to choose the Yutong full electric coach. Other Chinese manufacturers have recently announced an intention to supply electric coaches in the UK but in all cases the manufacturers and their ability to support their products are as yet unknown. The advantage of this ‘new’ vehicle is that it is not really a new vehicle. I have seen the Yutong in operation in Paris and look forward to being the first electric coach operator in London. We already operate three Yutong coaches and are very confident in the excellent aftersales support from Pelican.”

Richard Crump, MD of Pelican Bus and Coach, added: “The coaches operating in Paris are averaging better than 1km per kWh of charge used on a duty cycle that is very similar to operation in the Greater London area. This will allow operators a range of about 200 miles on a full charge, depending of course on how the heating and cooling systems are used. For electric vehicles, it’s always a very delicate balance between range (battery capacity), cost and weight and in the UK we are limited by the 11,500kg rear axle legal weight whereas the same vehicle has a 13,000kg rear axle rating in France. The push for clean air in cities means that, for city centre work, only a zero emission vehicle is completely future proof.”

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