Newport Transport, the city’s main bus operator, is starting to introduce a modern fleet of Yutong E12 single-decker fully electric zero emission buses this week, making these the very first of this type of buses to operate in Wales.
Following electric bus trials in Cardiff that began in 2018, Newport is now going to become the first city in Wales to sport the country’s first electric bus.
Newport Bus has ordered a total of fifteen Yutong E12 electric single-decker buses, which it expects to fully roll out by March next year. Once the buses are rolled out, one-fifth of the operator’s daily fleet requirements will be met by zero-emission buses, helping to improve Newport’s air quality.
The new buses have been funded by the Department for Transport after it announced £48m in funding for low-emission buses across the country earlier this year, including in 36 electric buses for Cardiff Bus and 16 for Stagecoach in Caerphilly.
Seven vehicles will arrive in February 2020 and with a further seven due for delivery in April 2020. The fifteen zero-emission electric vehicles supplied by Pelican Engineering/Yutong will represent 15% of the vehicle fleet of Newport Bus.
It was announced on 6th February 2019 that Newport Transport would receive £1,342m of funding from the Ultra-Low Emission Bus (ULEB) Scheme.
Newport Transport is working in partnership with Yutong UK, Pelican Engineering, and Zenobe Energy, an independent owner and operator of battery storage. Zenobe also works with the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) to ensure all projects are zero-emission and are compatible with the standards set in the UK government’s recent ULEB scheme.
Councillor Debbie Wilcox, Leader of Newport City Council, said: “This is excellent news especially as Newport Transport will be at the forefront of a revolution in public transport in Wales. Clean, efficient, zero-emission electric buses will significantly improve air quality across the city for the benefit of all those who live and work in Newport.”
The Yutong E12 can seat up to 39 passengers and has an operating range of up to 200 miles according to the manufacturer. The Yutong E12 will be the manufacturer’s first 12-metre electric bus operating in the UK. The driver and passenger experience is second to none, with separate air-conditioning for the driver and the passengers and no engine vibration or noise. The passenger seating is also enhanced with LED lighting and separate USB charging points.
Councillor Jane Mudd, chair of Newport Transport, said: “This is an exciting and ground-breaking development for public transport in the city. I’m proud that the company is leading the way in partnership with Yutong, Pelican Engineering and Zenobe Energy to guarantee that the buses meet the highest possible environmentally beneficial criteria.”
“As Newport Transport already utilises 214 solar panels, a significant proportion of the energy used to charge the buses will be from a renewable source,” comments Scott Pearson Managing Director of Newport Transport, “This is the start of a very exciting journey for the company as it moves into providing the people of Newport with an environmentally clean option for travel in and around the City. We recognise that in this ever-changing world, sustainable renewable energy is essential, and this must include public transport.
This venture will mean that Newport will be the first area in Wales to operate zero-emission buses for our customers and the environment.”