The new vehicles are being built to a modular concept, to ensure Wrightbus can offer both single- and double-deck buses on the same platform.
Vehicle charging and battery technology will be key to the new models, with three options to be offered:
* Overnight charging, using Nickel Manganese Cobalt batteries, with a range of 150 miles and suitable for single deckers;
* Inductive power transfer (IPT) utilising lithium-ion batteries, with a range of 135 miles (or 17 hours of service). Power is supplied through wirelessly transferred power from in-ground charging coils, with a charging time of less than 12 minutes. Suitable for both double and single deck;
* Conductive charging (fast charge) utilising lithium-ion batteries, with range and service dependent upon charging stations. The power is supplied through on-street Pantograph systems, fully charging the vehicles in less than seven minutes. Suitable for both double and single deck.
Wrightbus already has experience of new technology for buses, with the New Routemaster hybrid-electric vehicles and the all-electric StreetLites with Induction Power Transfer (IPT) in operation in with Arriva in Milton Keynes (pictured).
Dr William Wright CBE, says:“This hard-earned knowledge gives us an unparalleled level of experience and capability in the design, development and deployment of electric buses in a number of different types of operation.
“We not only have the unique knowledge to advise bus operators on the relative merits of ‘plug in’, inductive or conductive charging, but importantly capability and experience with in-service support, which is crucial in determining the success of implementing these new leading-edge projects.
“Our new range is already in build and we look forward to seeing vehicles on the road in the coming months.”