Following the announcement of a successful bid to the government’s Ultra Low Emission Bus Fund to support the purchase of electric buses, Go North East has confirmed an order for nine E10 electric buses with Chinese manufacturer Yutong, through its UK agent, Castleford-based Pelican Bus & Coach.
Building upon Go North East’s sizeable annual investment in low emission diesel buses, the region’s first zero emission full electric buses will be an important part of efforts to tackle air pollution and will also provide valuable operating experience for future electric vehicles.
These nine single-deckers have been ordered for services between Newcastle and Gateshead following extensive trials of various electric bus types.
Go North East’s managing director Martijn Gilbert says: “These buses will build on our existing investment which has already seen over 170 low emission buses join our fleet in recent years, with more on the way for the year ahead, as well as an ongoing programme supported by local partners to upgrade the engine emission standards of much of our existing fleet, all further improving the carbon footprint of the 62million journeys made by our passengers every year.”
Go North East, in partnership with passenger transport executive Nexus, was awarded funding which helps support an element of the additional capital cost of electric buses and depot charging infrastructure.
Go North East’s engineering director, Colin Barnes, says: “We’ve undertaken extensive trials and analysis of the electric bus types that are currently available in the UK market. The distance range of the vehicles, battery life, seating capacity, build quality and warranty were particularly important considerations for us when evaluating the best choice and Yutong came top in all these areas. We’ve tried both the E10 and E12 models in our operation and have been very impressed with them.”
The E10s will be the first production models in the UK and will be supported by overnight electric charging infrastructure from Yutong that will be installed at Go North East’s Gateshead Riverside depot, where the buses will be based. They are due to enter service in July 2020 and the operator expects to order further electric buses in the coming years.
Ian Downie, head of Yutong Bus, says: “All the staff at Pelican and Yutong are absolutely delighted and honoured to receive the very first order for the Yutong electric bus from Go North East. There are over 84,000 Yutong electric buses in service around the world, so these vehicles will be the start of many in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
“We are the only manufacturer with an ULEB certificate, and the E10 is fully zero emission with electric air conditioning for passenger comfort. The market analysis that Go North East undertook was rigorous, and we are delighted that our product and support resulted in this award. We look forward to working with Go North East for many years to come.”