Electric buses are great for cities because they reduce air pollution and save money on diesel, as well as maintenance and downtime costs. They also help to quiet the streets by emitting less noise than traditional diesel buses. Like other EVs, they can also be a lot more comfortable for riders. But, the added up front expense of electric buses is one thing that holds them back. Electric motors are simpler than a diesel engine, but battery packs can be very expensive.
But, what if you could double the good you get out of an electric bus compared to most diesel buses? Would that even out the score a bit? It turns out that a traditional answer to public transit in the United Kingdom is doing exactly that during the EV transition.
NFI has recently announced that 50 zero-emission double-decker buses have been ordered from Alexander Dennis by Transport for Greater Manchester. These buses will be used in the first phase of the franchised Bee Network bus system, set to launch in September 2023.
So, with each double-decker bus carrying many more people than a typical electric bus, it’s would be more fair to say that they’ve ordered 100 electric buses, wouldn’t it?
The Alexander Dennis zero-emission buses will be the first to feature the branding of the new Bee Network in Greater Manchester. This ambitious project aspires to create a fully integrated transport system that rivals London’s, comprising buses, trams, walking and cycling routes, and eventually trains. The striking black and yellow design was unveiled by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham.
“We are delighted to have been chosen by Transport for Greater Manchester as supplier for the first tranche of zero-emission buses for the new Bee Network,” said Paul Davies, President & Managing Director, Alexander Dennis. “We look forward to playing our part in transforming bus services in Wigan and Bolton with these iconic buses, which will be built in the North of England at our factory in Scarborough and supported locally from our AD24 aftermarket hub in Skelmersdale.
The new 50 buses will be paid for with part of the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement from the national government, and they are a component of a planned series that will see about 300 additional electric buses delivered to the region between 2024 and 2027.
“Choosing Alexander Dennis shows Transport for Greater Manchester and the Mayor’s commitment to building buses locally in the United Kingdom, for which we are grateful. The new livery will inspire pride in Manchester’s Bee Network and the improvements it will deliver for the region,” Davies continued.
Featured image provided by NFI.
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