Our local bus company is going one step further to ensure that their vehicles do not add to the air pollution problems in Edinburgh any more than is necessary.
They have now launched six all electric buses on route 1 which goes from Clermiston to Easter Road. This bus passes through the central air quality management area and the investment by Lothian Buses endorses the company’s commitment to reducing emissions and improving air quality.
There will be five more all electric buses added to the fleet next year when the Service 1 will become the first fully electric route. You will start to see the new buses from Sunday.
Lothian Buses Chief Executive Richard Hall was joined by the Transport Minister Humza Yousaf and the Transport Convener Lesley Macinnes yesterday morning to have a look at the new vehicles.
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 benefitted 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 added: “We fully support the Scottish Government’s 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 ‘Bus 2020’, 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.
“Electric bus technology is here and we need to embrace it and ensure that it is part of our future fleet and business planning strategies. It has a really important and exciting role alongside traditional diesel and hybrid technologies.”
Councillor Macinnes said: “Lothian Buses have made great progress in modernising their buses to help us improve Edinburgh’s air quality and these new fully-electric buses are a very welcome addition to their fleet. I look forward to seeing them out and about, sending a powerful and very visible message to other road users about our shared responsibility to protect the environment.”
The delivery of cleaner and greener buses into the fleet is central to Lothian’s ‘Bus 2020’ Environmental Strategy, which includes ongoing investments in low and zero emission buses. The company aims to reduce its emissions footprint by a further 42% by 2020.
Built in the UK, the six WrightBus StreetAir single deck buses can accommodate up to 70 passengers. They are fitted with Wi-Fi, high back seats, USB charging points and LED spotlights.
The buses operate on a pure electric powertrain, including an all-electric heating and cooling system, with 300 kWh of total battery energy which allows the buses to run with zero tailpipe emissions.
Full electric buses will be charged overnight at new charging stations recently installed within the company’s Annandale Street garage. Once plugged in, buses take 3-4 hours to receive a full 75 kW charge and are able to operate for up to 130 miles in electric power.
The electric buses are also 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. This extends the range of the bus.
So far in 2017, Lothian has invested in:
- 15 Wrightbus Volvo B8RLE Euro 6 for East Coast Buses
- 6 Wrightbus zero emission full electric buses
- 30 Wrightbus Volvo B5TL Euro 6 for route 26
- 15 Wrightbus Volvo B5TL Euro 6 buses for Airlink
- 20 Wrightbus Volvo B5LH Hybrid Euro 6 buses for Skylink 300 (previously route 35)
Photos Wullie Marr