Go North East, the bus operator for the Newcastle, Durham and Sunderland region has begun trialling a fully-electric single deck bus, the first of its kind in the north east, the company says.
Through 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 more electric vehicles to its fleet.
The vehicle, which has been provided by the Chinese manufacturer Yutong Electric, will run on the Gateshead Interchange to MetroCentre X66, a short journey through the centre of Gateshead.
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.â€?
Go North East says it has invested over £44 million in buying cleaner buses in recent years, as well as spending £2 million in retrofitting older vehicles.
According to the operator, nearly two thirds of its vehicles now have Euro V engines and above and another 15% are in the pipeline for retro-fits.