Tuesday, 13 February 2018

A Yutong Electric Bus for London

Yutong has unveiled their 10 metre long electric single deck bus which will be demonstrated for London Bus service.


Pelican Bus and Coach has opened its new Yutong showroom and engineering base, with the visit of Jin Xu, Minister Councillor for Economic and Commercial Development at the Chinese Embassy in the UK.

TfL-spec 10m electric arrives

Vehicles available to view and test drive at the Pelican Yutong facility included a new 10-metre, TfL-spec electric bus, the two coach models – the TC9 and TC12 – and the E12 electric bus.

The increased focus on the environment has resulted in Yutong, the world’s largest bus and coach manufacturer developing a right-hand drive versions of their electric product. Yutong sold nearly 68,000 buses and coaches in 2017. This included many different types of vehicles and fuel systems, ranging from 5-metre to 18-metre vehicles, and including diesel, hybrid, gas, electric and hydrogen power supplies. Their electric vehicles were launched in 1999, and have seen remarkable growth with Yutong No1 in China, and now having 58,264 electric vehicles in operation, worldwide.

Making its debut at Pelican was the E10 electric bus, built to Transport for London specifications. The 10.8-metre single deck bus is available as both a two-door version or single-door bus. The London version has 31 seats with 46 standing or 35+42 on the single-door specification. Zero emission is achieved by the electric-driven air conditioning, which provides dual heating and cooling with no emissions.

The E10 presented has a battery capacity of 324kW/h with an effective range of 181 miles on a single, overnight charge. Charging is completed with a European standard CCS2 charging gun from a DC charger capable of charging the vehicle in less than 2 hours 30 minutes. It has full LED lighting, and USB charging is available at every seat.

Ian Downie, head of Yutong Bus UK, said that other seating options and trim could be specified, but might cost more. The bus will retail at between £300k and £400k, but engineering costs would be at least 20% less. The bus uses 12 battery packs, half of which are on the roof, and half under the rear seats, where the electric drive motor is coupled directly to the rear axle.

The vehicle, which arrived in the UK only five days before the launch, will soon be in operation with Arriva London for at least a month. It will then undertake duties with other London bus operators in turn.

Also on display was the Yutong E12 electric single deck bus, which was launched at the Euro Bus Expo in November 2016, and has been on demonstration duties in Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham and York. With an average energy consumption of 1kW/h, the vehicle has completed 25,000kms of trouble-free operation.

Some of you may remember that Yutong previously rolled out a Left Hand Drive (LHD) diesel double deck bus with a half-cab similar to the AEC Routemaster. The bus is known as the Yutong Citymaster. 202 of these buses operate on the streets of Skopje in Macedonia. The transport system in Skopje uses the proof of payment system which is same as open boarding in London with the New Routemaster routes.

I suggest Yutong should design and build a Right Hand Drive (RHD) Citymaster with a battery electric system to demonstrate for London Bus service. I believe this could be a major competitor to the existing hybrid New Routemaster buses in service. I also believe that the half-cab buses are obsolete due to bus designs evolving over the years - the original purpose of a half-cab bus was to carry a conductor, but as technology has progressed, we are now in the age of the smartcard ticketing system, hence the reason TfL ditched conductors (passenger assistants) from six New Routemaster routes back in September 2016 to save money for the 1 hour hopper fare.

You can view the specifications of the Yutong Citymaster product on the China Buses website.

Here’s a London Bus news update from LOTS:

1) The electric Irizar i2E (10.8m) YN67 VDK, having been at HCT since last October, finally entered passenger service on CT Plus’ route W13 on 9th February (note that it does not appear on LVF) . It is 10.8m, B28D and weighs in at a whopping ULW of 13621kg. More electrics now and two Yutong E10 (10.8m B31D) electric buses are coming to trials in London, including at least one with Arriva at South Croydon (TC) on route 312.

2) Stagecoach London is now taking delivery of its three batches of new buses due to take up service on 17th March when three routes are taken over from Go-Ahead. E40H 12433-451 for route 161, E20D 10.5m 36671-84 for the 284 and E20D 10.9m 36685-699 for the 181. The 181 and 284 (and 356) will run from a new site at Lower Sydenham. Also in course of delivery are Go-Ahead EH 195-214 for when they take over route 172 from Abellio, also on 17th March. Arriva London has more Volvo B5LHs (HV 380-402) in course of delivery, but not due to take up route 468 (from Go-Ahead) until 31st March.

3) Some forthcoming orders have been modified to take into account the latest technological advancements. Go-Ahead’s 65 x E40Hs due in May for routes 36, 77 and part of 87 are still hybrids but with supercapacitors instead of batteries which are expected to be more efficient and last the life of the bus. The intended order for WHVs for route 44 is now altered to StreetDeck ‘micro hybrid’ buses (WSD 2-23).

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