Bus operator Arriva is rolling out double-deck battery electric buses across Leicester next month, designed to navigate low bridges.
The 22 Wrightbus Streetdeck Electroliners will be the city’s first electric double-decks as well as Arriva’s first electric double-decks outside London.
They can each carry about 90 passengers and have a range of around 200 miles with a recharge time of two hours 45 minutes.
The vehicles also have enhanced specifications to improve the customer experience such as better onboard lighting, digital customer information screens and USB charging points.
The first of the zero-emission vehicles was delivered in September for driver-training.
Arriva UK Bus and Leicester City Council made a successful joint bid through the Government’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme to unlock the £11 million worth of investment required to purchase the new buses.
Work is being completed at Arriva’s Thurmaston depot to install chargers and infrastructure for the battery-electric fleet and engineers are being trained about the zero-emission vehicles.
Alistair Hands, Managing Director for Arriva, said, “Welcoming the new Wrightbus electric fleet into Leicester is a game-changing moment in our continued drive to operating a greener, decarbonised bus network.
“It’s our aim to make Arriva UK Bus the best choice for passengers and we know our customers value our progressive attitude towards decarbonising public transport.
Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Wrightbus, said, “We are delighted to be partnering with Arriva once again in accelerating its investment in the electrification of its bus fleet and in the drive to zero-emission public transport in the industry.
“All of the buses will be built in Ballymena in Northern Ireland, lending further support to the wider regional economy and allowing us to create green jobs as we continue in our growth.”