Sunday 21 February 2021

Second Electric Bus Trial by Harrogate Bus Company

A Yutong E10 electric bus, originally supplied by Yorkshire-based Pelican Bus and Coach, is being loaned to The Harrogate Bus Company by Tyneside-based operator Go North East to enable a new trial to go ahead. 

A second high-tech battery-powered electric bus has been brought in for a trial on the bus firm’s route 1 linking Harrogate and Knaresborough, following an initial trial with an alternative all-electric single deck bus in October 2020.

The bus is powered by 422 kWh water-cooled batteries, capable of a 370 km range on a single 3.4-hour charge.

The Harrogate Bus Company General Manager Frank Stanisauskis (left) and driver Ricki Tomlinson 
with the Yutong E10 electric bus now on trial between Harrogate and Knaresborough.

The results will be compared with the findings from last Autumn’s trial operation on the same Harrogate bus route of a BYD ADL Enviro200 EV electric single-deck bus, manufactured by Alexander Dennis in partnership with the Chinese firm BYD, the world’s largest maker of rechargeable batteries and new energy vehicles.

A spokesman said: "The Harrogate Bus Company is looking to build on its positive experience of running electric buses, after it became the first operator in Britain to introduce ‘opportunity charged’, pioneering ‘Harrogate Electrics’ buses in 2018. At that time, the Starbeck-based firm became the only operator in Yorkshire to win funding of £2.25 million from the Government to create Britain’s first Low Emission Bus Town."

Transdev CEO Alex Hornby said: “We’re delighted to begin the second phase of our electric bus trials, as we look ahead to future options for electric power on one of our most popular routes, the 1 between Harrogate and Knaresborough, all to complement the existing zero emission fleet on the local town network in Harrogate.

“With a bus usually up to every seven minutes, the 1 is a vitally important link between the two towns and an ideal place to put the bus industry’s newest technology to the test.

Harrogate is already served by a fleet of Volvo electric buses,
launched in 2018. They have already covered over 400,000 miles.

“The Yutong E10 bus is being loaned to us by Go North East and is used on a route very similar in frequency and usage as our own route here. We’re also in discussions with Pelican Bus and Coach in Castleford, who finished and supplied the buses for use here in the UK, following extensive development work with Yutong on their design and specification.

“Our comparative trials will help us to develop our aspirations for future investment as we look to make informed choices between options for electric power on one of our most popular routes.

“We’re constantly looking to build buses back better as part of our strategy for our company and industry, demonstrating our belief that our buses will continue to play a vitally important role beyond the current pandemic in boosting the economy, both locally in Harrogate and across Yorkshire and the north of England.”

See here and here for more information about the existing Harrogate electric fleet. 

Above each stand at Harrogate Bus Station is a pantograph that connects to the Volvo electric buses bus and charges it whilst customers get off and on.

It lengthens the battery life of the vehicles during the day and means they don’t need trips to the depot for charging. It gives the buses enough of a boost for their 30 to 45 minutes local routes.