The first new Yutong GTe14 electric coaches are expected to be delivered to Ember to expand its Scottish operations
Following its recent announcement that the Yutong GTe14 three axle electric coach will be available in the UK later this year, Pelican Bus & Coach has announced its first order for the model. Scottish intercity operator Ember has confirmed an order for 14 new GTe14s to be delivered in January 2024 for its growing electric network. The coaches have 57 seats and will include the Yutong Electric Safety System (YESS) and a camera mirror system as standard.
Wheelchair access is integrated into the centre passenger door, and luggage capacity is quoted as 8.25 cubic metres, significantly more than currently available on the operator’s TCe12 coaches. Fitted with the larger 563kWh battery option, Pelican says that the projected range for this model on intercity motorway work is about 280 miles.
Commenting on the order, Pelican Bus & Coach Managing Director Richard Crump said: “We have worked closely with Keith Bradbury and Pierce Glennie from Ember since first meeting them in 2019. Their vision and professionalism has in part driven the development of this new addition to the UK model range, however the vehicle will have wider appeal across the whole of the UK, not only for intercity work but also high value private hire work.”
Ember co-founder Pierce Glennie added: “This order will grow the Ember fleet to 38 fully-electric Yutong coaches. Our existing Yutong TCe12 coaches have been highly-reliable, enabling us to build an extensive zero-emission route network in less than three years. The longer-range, higher-capacity GTe14, together with the new charging hubs we are building, will allow us to add longer distance routes and meet passenger demand.”
Pelican’s GTe14 demonstrator is expected to arrive in the UK in November, and will mark a turning point for the industry as the UK’s first electric touring coach, building on the success that imported Pelican has seen with the smaller TCe12 electric interurban coach. The company will continue to use its TCe12s, adding the new GTe14s to boost capacity and launch further routes; the operator said that at this stage, no final decisions have been made on which vehicles will run on which routes and at which times, something which will be driven by demand levels, adding that with many journeys sold out, it is keen to increase the number of seats available as well as frequency.
The company confirmed that the next routes to launch will service Aberdeen and Inverness in the coming months, with the expectation that its new Aberdeen charging hub will be the next to launch, supporting a new Dundee-Aberdeen service. Planning permission for charging hubs in Aberdeen and Inverness has been granted, and the company expects them to open later this year.