The Big Lemon celebrates a decade of operation

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L to R: Norman Baker, Managing Director of The Big Lemon, Graham Andrews, Customer Service Manager, Optare and Neil Brookes, Bus Driver for The Big Lemon for over eight years

Operator also praises the Optare Solo EV, which it has trialled for a month

Brighton-based The Big Lemon has celebrated 10 years of operation.

The company has built a reputation for operating innovative environmentally friendly vehicles. This year, it introduced the first solar-powered electric bus in the UK and has since added another such bus and an electric minibus. The solar panels power the operator’s offices along with its electric fleet, with enough power left to export to the grid.

The company is also working with Magtec to convert diesel buses to electic.

The Big Lemon Managing Director, Norman Baker, commented: “10 years on and we have accumulated a cabinet full of awards for what we do, and are currently shortlisted for three more as I write, including two highly prestigious national awards.

“So I’d like to say thank you and well done to those who have got us this far. But we are also conscious that this is not the time to rest on our laurels. We have big ambitions to grow and we are already scoping out and pacing the route ahead.”

The company has also been trialling an Optare Solo EV for the last month, and was recently awarded £500,000 of funding for new vehicles from the Low Emission Bus Scheme to fund three electric buses.

Norman Baker added: “We have been extremely impressed with the Solo EV and all our drivers have loved driving it. The feedback from passengers has been extremely positive, with many commenting how quiet, comfortable and smooth the Solo EV is.”

Robert Drewery, Commercial Director at Optare, said: “There are now over 100 Optare electric buses in service in the UK and Europe. As a manufacturer, we remain committed to working with local authorities and operators to deliver sustainable transport solutions that improve air quality in our towns and cities. I am delighted that the Solo EV has been such a hit with Big Lemon.”