As part of its bid to have the UK’s greenest bus fleet and following its continued investment in new vehicles and technology, Go North East is trialling the region’s first fully electric zero-emissions bus.
Named the Yutong Electric, the vehicle is quieter than traditional diesel buses and boasts low battery and energy usage. Currently being trialled on Go North East’s popular Gateshead Interchange to MetroCentre X66 route, for the comfort and convenience of passengers, the bus has air conditioning, internal USB charging ports and information screens.
During the three-week trial, Go North East will monitor the running costs of the single-deck vehicle and take feedback from its engineers, drivers and passengers, to make an informed decision on whether an investment should be made in adding Yutong Electric vehicles to its fleet.
The pilot is part of the award-winning bus company’s ongoing efforts to introduce greener vehicles into its 650-strong fleet. In the past five years, it has invested over £44million in buying new buses and £2m has been dedicated to upgrading vehicles; retro-fitting systems to make them more fuel efficient while reducing emissions. Currently, nearly two thirds of its vehicles now have Euro 5 engines and above and another 15% are in the pipeline for retro-fits.
Colin Barnes, head of engineering at Go North East is leading on the trial, he said: “We’re excited to be the first bus company in the region to trial a fully electric bus. With zero fuel emissions, the Yutong Electric is sure to help reduce our carbon footprint, so we are really keen to see what our passengers and team members have to say.”
Designed and made in China, the Yutong Electric is in use in select cities across the UK, including London and Nottingham. Yutong is the largest bus and coach manufacturer in the world, with a global growth strategy focused on electric bus and coach vehicles, with Pelican Bus and Coach their UK agent.