Edinburgh based ‘Lothian Buses’ has become the latest operator in the UK to introduce a fleet of electric buses, with six single-deck buses going into service.
The route carries 1.8-million passengers a year between the capital’s suburb Clermiston and central Easter Road, right through the main city centre.
According to Lothian Buses, the £2.7m investment ‘cements its commitment to reduce emissions and improve air quality in the area’.
The buses will charge overnight at new charging stations installed within the company’s Annandale Street garage.
Once plugged in, the vehicles take 3-4 hours to receive a full 75 kW charge and can operate for up to 130 miles on electric power, the company claims.
The vehicles are designed with regenerative braking, allowing the energy created when the vehicle is braking to be recovered back to the batteries and stored to power the vehicle extending the range of the bus.
A further five electric vehicles are expected to be added to the service next year, making it the city’s first fully electric route.
Scotland’s minister for transport, Humza Yousaf, said: “I am delighted to be able to join Lothian in the launch of their new electric buses.
“It is fantastic to see operators, like Lothian, investing in their fleet in a way that supports both their passengers and the environment through new low carbon and electric vehicles.
“Lothian have benefited through the Scottish Green Bus Fund and I would encourage all operators to continue to consider the various grants that the Scottish Government and Transport Scotland can provide.”
Richard Hall, managing director of Lothian, added: “We fully support the Scottish Government and City of Edinburgh Council’s strategies to improve local air quality.
“The introduction of full electric buses to this route, combined with our on-going fleet replacement strategy ‘BUS2020’, ensures that we as a business are doing our part to improve air quality across the city.
“These buses are not only fitted with zero emission technology, they are also quieter and smoother, offering a better customer experience for the thousands of customers who travel with us every day.”