Edinburgh bus operator Lothian Buses has today (28 September) introduced six fully electric buses on a key route within the city.
This follows an investment of over Â£2.7million in the six Wrightbus Street Air single deck buses which will operate on the Service 1 route. This carries around 1.8 million users each year between Clermiston and Easter Road, running through the cityâ€™s central air quality management area.
According to Lothian Buses, the investment â€œcements its commitment to reduce emissions and improve air quality in the areaâ€.
The buses will charge overnight at new charging stations installed within the companyâ€™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, Lothian Buses added.
A further five electric vehicles are expected to be added to the service next year, making it the cityâ€™s first fully electric route.
Commenting on the investment, Humza Yousaf, Scotlandâ€™s minister for transport, said: â€œI 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.
â€œLothian 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.â€
Richard Hall, managing director of Lothian, added: â€We fully support the Scottish Government and City of Edinburgh Councilâ€™s strategies to improve local air quality. The introduction of full electric buses to this route, combined with our on-going fleet replacement strategy â€˜BUS2020â€™, ensures that we as a business are doing our part to improve air quality across the city.
â€œThese 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.
â€œElectric 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 absolutely has a place alongside traditional diesel and hybrid technologies.â€