First off, Transdev Blazefield in Harrogate have ordered eight Volvo electric 7900e buses expecting to be delivered in the first quarter of 2018.
Extract from Bus and Coach Professional
Harrogate is to become the first UK city to embrace Volvo’s City Mobility concept with the introduction of eight full-electric 7900e buses along with opportunity charging infrastructure to cover three short Transdev Blazefield routes in the city with delivery expected in the first quarter of 2018.
The contracts for the buses and infrastructure is backed by a successful bid to OLEV’s Low Emission Bus Scheme and the operator is starting a contracting process for the infrastructure alongside the order for eight 7900e buses from Volvo. The electric buses will be able to use three charging units which are to be installed in Harrogate’s bus station.
Globally, Volvo has agreements with both Siemens and ABB for the supply of roadside units which can re-charge electric and electric hybrid buses via an overhead pantograph. Volvo has pioneered an ‘open standard’ for the charging units, in partnership with a number of other European manufacturers, which will allow operators and cities to ‘mix and match’ electric-powered vehicles from different manufacturers.
Volvo had previously identified Edinburgh as the likely launching stage for its electric and electric hybrid concept under the City Mobility banner; this has been delayed, although not yet shelved, according to Volvo.
However, the launch of the Harrogate project will provide an important focus for Volvo which has long pioneered an electric future for urban public transport. The manufacturer will also use the forthcoming Euro Bus Expo for a world premiere of its Electric Hybrid double-deck bus which combines an emission-free electric-only option for up to around 7km with a ‘conventional’ full hybrid for use when electric power is not available.
More information on the Volvo 7900 Electric can be seen here.
Now here’s the good part of the article which talks about the Volvo B5LHC with Wrightbus SRM body! A 2-door 1-staircase New Routemaster design!
The new B5LHC double-deck chassis will be launched with a Wrightbus SRM body and two vehicles are due to go into service in London during 2017 in a trial that will involve the installation of roadside opportunity charging units.
The B5LHC double-deck follows on from Volvo’s 7900 single-deck Electric Hybrid bus that was launched in 2014. The B5LHC driveline is an extension of the technology used in the Volvo B5LH Hybrid with the use of a more powerful electric motor, increased capacity lithium ion battery rated at 19kWh, and roof-mounted equipment for opportunity charging.
Pointing to the success of the existing trial of electric and electric hybrid buses in Gothenburg and elsewhere, Volvo commercial sales director Phil Owen says that the new electric hybrid double-deck builds on a proven system. “We know that the technology works,” he says, “but this trial is about showing how opportunity charging can work in a busy operational environment.”
The world premiere of the B5LHC at Birmingham’s Euro Bus Expo on 1 November will be attended by TfL managing director of surface transport Leon Daniels and president of Volvo Buses Håkan Agnevall.
Back on 9th August 2016 I predicted that this might happen and have been proved correct now with the unveiling of the two new single deck electric buses from Wrightbus.
I said, quote:
“since Wrightbus unveiled their two door New Routemaster bodywork called the SRM, we may see the electric version of the SRM!”
So yes, this is a nice surprise for me and if you read the article in full, that’s when the hidden news is revealed! Looking forward to it! :D
I should also mention that the rollout of the 3-door 2-staircase hybrid New Routemasters will continue until it reaches its 1,000th build. The next routes to convert are routes 21, 48, 76 and East London Transit routes EL1, EL2 and EL3! The New Routemaster design lives on! and it’s all thanks to Wrightbus for designing the SRM!
Next up, I have some news about the new bus purchase from First Potteries:
From Route One
They are based at Adderley Green depot and have entered service on routes 21/21A and 23/23A between Hanley and Trentham or Newstead respectively, forming part of an upgrade of the busy corridor linking Hanley and Stoke-on-Trent Railway Station, where buses run up to every 3min at peak times.
They are the only Euro 6 buses operating in North Staffordshire and have First’s standard, high-quality interior specification that includes synthetic leather seating, CCTV and free wi-fi. Additionally, separate areas are provided for pushchairs and wheelchair users.
Says Nigel Eggleton, First Midlands Regional MD: “Our latest investment is great news for customers. I am sure that our new buses will be well-received and will improve the journey experience for everyone that travels on them.
“The new buses are among the best, and the most eco-friendly, in the Potteries and this investment shows our continued commitment to improving bus travel in and around the area.”
And lastly, an update from LOTS:
1) One or two MHVs from the Camberwell batch and four of the newest WHVs have been in service on routes 1 and N1 in the past week. Route 1 was included in the orders for both classes. The majority of the new WHVs are for Putney though and will be joined there by EHVs, eventually to convert routes 14, 74 and 430 to hybrid operation. Meanwhile, four of the Peckham MHVs (from batch MHV 21-55) went into service on the 63 and 363 in the past few days.
2) The long awaited renumbering of the former AtS buses now with ASC in Hertfordshire finally began in the past couple of weeks. Buses at Stevenage and Ware depots have been done although Garston and Hemel remain outstanding for now. Many of you will have seen Red Rose ‘s two new E20Ds T25RRT and W25RRT in a ‘25th anniversary’ version of the livery. However four former GHA E200s (YX64 VRF-G-J-K) have been acquired as well, although some may end up with Redline or Red Eagle as well as Red Rose.
3) Three items from west London: The Wrightbus SRM VHR45203 entered service for the first time in London in the past week, but thus far only on the school bus route 618. Abellio route U7 lost its Dart/ Caetanos in favour of refurbished Enviro200s. Just a small handful of the newest VWHs went into service at Harrow Weald although the majority remain in store at Perivale. In the east the full batch of CT Plus 9.6m E20Ds (1221-1237) have been delivered and are In store at Walthamstow Garage. Correcting earlier notes, this garage is close to the Crooked Billet Sainsbury’s rather than on the old Stadium site.
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