Nottingham charges ahead with electric bus fleet19 December 2016

Nottingham City Council (NCC) has launched a fleet of 13 BYD advanced pure electric 12m ebuses, along with associated charging equipment – the first such fleet to go into operation in the UK outside the capital.

The vehicles were inaugurated last week (13 December) and part funded by a £1.4 million grant from the Department for Transport’s Green Bus Fund. The remaining £2.1 million has been raised via the NCC Workplace Parking Levy.

As part of the deal, BYD is providing a five-year warranty on the powertrain components based on its iron-phosphate battery technology. BYD is the biggest producer of pure electric buses in the world and its 12m ebus has been trialled in more than 50 major European cities.

NCC’s buses are supplied with a service support package, which includes training for drivers and maintenance engineers.

Nottingham is one of five UK cities introducing a clean air zone with Euro 6 emission standards for buses by 2020. Councillor Nick McDonald, NCC’s portfolio holder for business, growth and transport, said: “It hasn’t been easy being an early adopter of such cutting-edge technology, but the partnership has now achieved a reliable electric bus network. It is hoped that other bus operators and contractors within Nottingham will make use of this charging network and local expertise”.

Frank Thorpe, BYD’s UK manager, said: “Winning this order from Nottingham, which has one of the largest fleets of electric buses in the UK, is of huge significance to BYD.

“NCC selected our ebuses after a comprehensive evaluation programme involving a variety of competitors demonstrating the strength of our proven technology. It’s no surprise that other major UK provincial cities – such as Liverpool – are already following Nottingham’s lead.”

Ten of the buses are named after local schoolchildren (pictured), who won a poster competition with designs showing the benefits of electric buses.

Laura Cork

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