Go North East is trialling what it has called the region’s first fully electric zero-emissions bus.
The Yutong E12 electric single-decker is currently being trialled on Go North East’s Gateshead Interchange to MetroCentre X66 route.
The vehicle is specified with air-conditioning, internal USB charging ports and information screens.
During the three-week trial, Go North East will monitor the running costs of the single-decker vehicle and take feedback from its engineers, drivers and passengers, to make an informed decision on whether an investment should be made in adding further Yutong electric vehicles to its fleet.
The pilot is part of the operator’s ongoing efforts to introduce greener vehicles into its 650-strong fleet.
In the past five years, it has invested over £44m in new buses and £2m has been dedicated to upgrading vehicles, retrofitting systems to make them more fuel efficient while reducing emissions.
Currently, nearly two thirds of its vehicles have Euro 5 engines and above, with a further 15% awaiting retrofits.
Colin Barnes, Head of Engineering at Go North East, is leading on the trial. He said: “We’re excited to be the first bus company in the region to trial a fully electric bus.
“With zero fuel emissions, the Yutong E12 electric is sure to help reduce our carbon footprint, so we are really keen to see what our passengers and team members have to say.”
Designed and made in China, the Yutong E12 is in use in select cities across the UK, including London and Nottingham.
Yutong is the largest bus and coach manufacturer in the world, with Pelican Bus and Coach as its UK agent.