Today I will be sharing articles from various sources about the new bus orders.
First off, Ensignbus orders high capacity buses for their private hire, railway replacement service and corporate work.
Essex bus dealer and operator Ensignbus has reached an agreement to import Australian manufacturer BCI’s Chinese-assembled high-capacity, high-specification double-deckers to the UK, with the first to be unveiled on 19 July.
The deal has been born from a need for a high-capacity, air-conditioned double-decker for Ensignbus’ own fleet, but Chairman Peter Newman confirms that one of the initial batch of five has already been sold to another operator and that one of the four in Ensignbus colours will also be used as a demonstrator.
“We had been looking for some time for a tri-axle double-decker that is air-conditioned, has approximately 100 coach seats and is around the 12m mark without success. I spent a lot of time talking to manufacturers in the UK, Turkey and China before settling on BCI,” says Mr Newman.
Power is from an 8.9-litre Euro 6 Cummins ISL engine and the gearbox and axles are from ZF, and the buses will comply with PSVAR and ULEZ legislation.
“The buses that we are importing seat 95 and are 12.5m long. They are not the kind of vehicle that will be used on stagecarriage services, but they fill a niche between a bus and a luxury coach.”
Mr Newman adds that Ensignbus’ examples will be used on a mix of private hire, rail replacement and corporate work, where high capacity is required but air-conditioning is also a necessity.
The buses are assembled in China, but Mr Newman stresses that they are “not the cheapest option.” Instead, they are high-quality and built to the operator’s specification, with a variety of options available.
“We will do open-top examples if required, and a hybrid version is a definite possibility. Similarly, a luggage storage area could also be added if the customer wishes.
“We re-imported several hundred used high-capacity double-deckers from Hong Kong some time ago, so we know that there is a market for these buses. We are not expecting to sell hundreds of them, but if we do 15-20 per year that will be excellent.”
Next up we have the news that RATP (state owned transport operator in Paris, France) has ordered 16 electric coaches and buses.
BYD, the world's largest maker of pure electric buses, is demonstrated its commitment to the French market at the Transport Publics event this week in Paris.
It announced orders for 16 of its all-new pure electric buses and coaches to French operators together with a trial with Paris operator RATP and the unveiling of its 12m single deck bus - being displayed for the first time in France.
BYD Europe MD Isbrand Ho says: “France is one of the most important public transport markets in Europe, with its operators being amongst the most respected for their advanced thinking and efficiency.
“Today we are opening a new chapter of our sales efforts with the announcement of the sale of the first 15 of our all new pure electric coaches, a world leading model which we premiered here in Paris earlier this year.”
BYD France's first customer is B E Green of Yvelines near Paris which has ordered three BYD pure electric coaches and one 12m BYD ebus to add to its 100% electric fleet.
The Nedroma Group of Athis Mons, also close to Paris, has ordered 12 BYD electric coaches - the largest order so far for this new model from a Western customer.
The BYD stand featured a heavily enhanced and Europeanised version of its 12m full size single deck bus.
Much improved battery technology means that only two battery packs are necessary, allowing increased passenger space in a typical European layout, improved driver visibility and reduced weight.
Elsewhere, a Hampshire based operator Xelabus is set to order new double deck buses.
Investment plans for 2016 include new double-deckers for Hampshire-based operator Xelabus.
The family-owned firm is currently trialling several vehicles as part of its decision-making process.
Since its formation in 2010, the company has built on its college service network and plans to invest significantly with newer vehicles.
Currently on loan to the company is a Volvo B5TL MCV EvoSeti.
“Already we are seeing the greater benefits to the company in operating such vehicles. The greater fuel economy and attractive design already favour this vehicle over other manufacturers,” says Operations Director Gareth Blair.
“We plan to remove four older vehicles from our fleet and replace them with five new buses before the end of 2016 and Euro 6 deckers are a preferred option for us.
“The ride quality of the B5TL chassis is excellent and the engine is quiet.
“Headroom for passengers is excellent and side visibility is good. The EvoSeti is a pleasant and enjoyable vehicle to be a passenger on or a driver.”
We will wrap things up with a news update from LOTS:
Delivery has commenced of new E20Ds to Metroline (DEL 2155-2166 for route 487), to London United (DE 28001-014 for route 265) and to Arriva London (EN 34-38 for route 377). Also arriving in the past week were some of the LTs for Metroline route 189 although there is likely to be a delay in entry into service.
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