Innovation and Technology in Transport flies high at Farnborough

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RIchard Sharman provides a round-up of the latest news and developments from this year’s ITT Hub event at Farnborough International

It only seems like a blink of an eye since the Innovation and Technology in Transport (ITT Hub) event made its debut at the Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre on 30 June and 1 July 2021, but less than 12 months later it was back. Last Wednesday and Thursday were to be the days that the industry flocked to Surrey to see the very latest in new vehicles and technology.

Whilst overall the show was bigger than last year in some respects, a few manufacturers were very conspicuous by their absence, especially when you consider that the vast majority of vehicle manufactures and bodybuilders were in attendance. One of those was in attendance, but without any coach or bus product. An opportunity to put products in front of a large number of potential customers is always worth it in my opinion, but I guess sometimes the cost of doing so does not always balance up in these pandemic recovery times – although if it scores you a vehicle demonstration with the possibility of a potential order, it may be worth it?

For those who did attend it would appear that is was definitely worth it. Despite the rain on Wednesday the stands were still busy outside and inside the hall. Of note was that there were many conversations going on beyond just the operators; electrification infrastructure providers were in conversation with OEMs and body builders, various government agencies were also in conversation on multiple stands, and many more visitors had flown in for the visit. Of particular note was a contingent from Volgren in Australia for the big Wrightbus announcement.
Despite being in its infancy, the ITT Hub has all the ingredients to see continued success and get bigger each year.

The Alexander Dennis stand was located next to BYD’s, and showed off the 2022 BYD ADL Enviro200EV and Enviro400EV demonstrators with high specification interiors. RICHARD SHARMAN

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Alexander Dennis

Alexander Dennis (ADL) showcased four of its electric vehicles at this year’s show. Vehicles on display were two high specification BYD ADL demonstrators in a striking green livery with matching interior. The double decker Enviro400EV was on ADL’s own stand and the single decker Enviro200EV was to be found on the adjoining stand of partner BYD.

The two new demonstrators’ specifications included ADL Smart Seats with integrated passenger amenities, social seating around an extendable table and mood lighting. ADL says the internal colour scheme of green, grey and wood – including grass effect flooring – highlights the vehicles environmental credentials which allow both variants to achieve up to 160 miles on a single charge.

Two further BYD ADL Enviro400EV provided shuttle buses to Farnborough railway station for attendees. These were supplied by ADL customers Abellio London, which provided a vehicle built to the latest Transport for London interior standard recently launched on route 63, and Go-Ahead London.

The manufacturer also provided information on the Enviro400FCEV, its upcoming second-generation hydrogen bus which will be launched later this year, and its range of low emission buses and coaches including the PSVAR-compliant Plaxton Leopard coach for contract hires and school work.

Martin West, ADL Group Commercial Director, said: “ITT Hub is a key date in the ADL calendar this year. Interacting and engaging old and new customers is of critical importance following the restrictions of the past two years. ADL is a staunch advocate of the Built in Britain brand which we embodied with pride at this year’s ITT Hub with four zero emission buses, two of which are courtesy of our customers Go-Ahead London and Abellio London.”

The full spectrum of ADL support was on hand, with team members from commercial, sales, marketing, engineering, international business development, and aftermarket support.

Eagle-eyed show visitors arriving by car may have seen something interesting on the way in to the show on a new building on right hand side of the business park, more details on this soon.

BYD was not only demonstrating it presence in the bus industry, but also showed off its new electric e6 MPV which BYD sees as a commercial vehicle in the UK market rather than for private ownership, with interest already being shown by ride hailing app providers. RICHARD SHARMAN














BYD showcased its latest products in the bus, commercial and private vehicle sectors at ITT Hub, including the BYD ADL Enviro200EV, BYD forklifts and the new e6 MPV.

BYD delivered the first pure-electric double decker bus for Transport for London in 2015, and in the same year entered a cooperation agreement with Alexander Dennis. Seven years on, the BYD ADL partnership has over 1,300 electric buses in service or on order in the UK. The manufacturer said its partnership with ADL continues to flourish thanks to the ever-growing demand for pure-electric zero-emission e-buses in the UK, supporting the UK Government’s strategy to achieve ‘net zero’ decarbonisation by 2050. Throughout Europe, over 2,600 BYD e-buses have been delivered, or are on order, in over 20 countries across 100 cities.

Commenting on the milestone of BYD prepairing to deliver its 1,000th zero emission bus, Frank Thorpe, Managing Director of BYD UK, said: “The interesting dynamic here is that the first 500 buses took about five years to develop the market, get delivered and into service, the next 500 took 18 months and the next 500 after the upcoming milestone 1,000th delivery will probably be achieved within 12 months.

“What we are seeing is increased volume, more routine roll out, deployment done much quicker and seamlessly. Because BYD is so vertically integrated, as we develop and manufacturer the batteries, key driveline components, motors and inverters, our supply chain is pretty robust. This allows us to react to the market requirements and volume, but also we have the largest number of electric vehicles on the road of anybody and those vehicles have to go and work every single day, we have got a reliable product validated by many millions of miles of operation over the last six years.

“BYD chassis come into our Scarborough and Falkirk plants ready to go from China, we then fit the Alexander Dennis body and PDI the vehicles. Initial plans to build the chassis and fit the batteries in the UK was disrupted by the pandemic. In terms of the vehicle bodies, we are working with Alexander Dennis on the next phase of development on how we improve the vehicle in terms of both the battery technology and other features of the vehicle in terms of layout, design and safety in order to keep us at the front of the market.

“In other countries that BYD operate we offer integral product, but traditionally the UK bus sector prefers bespoke bodywork on a conventional chassis layout, and that has always been the dominant supply position. From time to time integral designs have done OK, but if you look at the market today it is still that conventional position. Do I see that changing? Potentially, because weight saving is critical in terms of EV efficiency and integral designs do have an advantage when it comes to weight saving, so there may be potential there, but at the moment it seems that the market still wants that traditional solution.”

Commenting on the show, Frank continued: “It is great to have the opportunity to personally engage again with customers and colleagues in the EV industry. ITT Hub showcases our latest technology and product innovation, further supporting industry transition to net zero. BYD is the only manufacturer in Europe to bring pure-electric ‘total solutions’ for operators, local communities, and the wider transport infrastructure. We will continue to evolve BYD’s eMobility portfolio and bring the latest technology and associated NEV products to Europe, to help accelerate decarbonisation progress in the UK and beyond.”

Elite Vehicle Supplies

Elite Vehicle Supplies displayed its new EV Gas Detection System, which monitors volatile combustible gases produced as a result of battery overheat, overcharge or other conditions. The system’s control panel indicates system status and alerts the driver of any gas detection concerns. The manufacturer explained that key benefits of the product are that it provides advance notice of a thermal runaway event, via strategically placed sensors around the vehicle, allowing the driver more time to pull over and evacuate the vehicle.

Equipmake showed a Wrightbus Gemini 2 with its Electric Vehicle Repower option for the Volvo B5LH. RICHARD SHARMAN













The Snetterton-based firm is engineering an electric future, with not only a new double-decker bus model to be launched into service in London soon in the form of the Jewel E, a partnership between Equipmake, Beulas and Agrale, but also Electric Vehicle Repower (EVR) options for the Optare Versa and Volvo B5LH.

Showing a Wrightbus Gemini 2-bodied B5LH on its stand, the EVR uses Equipmake’s HTM-3500 motor which is designed to fit directly onto the prop shaft providing 3,500Nm of Torque. It is available as a single or coupled unit, with the coupled unit producing two times the power and torque. Equipmake says that EVR is a cost-effective electric repowered bus option and provides a second life for diesel and hybrid buses to be converted and re-commissioned as full battery electric vehicles.

Exeros Technologies

The London-based company presented its latest AI technology in fleet safety on its stand. Exeros has been working behind the scenes on its latest AI technology platform VideMatics, which it says offers a powerful single infrastructure for full fleet visibility and easy fleet management. The VideMatics platform combines traditional telematics features with the sophistication of video data, also soon incorporating a pro-active approach to driver scoring and driver improvement through human driver intervention and incentives, integrating all Exeros hardware solutions onto one central platform for full fleet visibility and easy decision-making.

Typically, the firm explained, companies operating fleets in the majority of industries manage a multi-supplier system resulting in suboptimal data collection and analysis, making decision-taking slower. With a central camera platform, Exeros has developed a single, scalable and modular architecture that can accommodate the integration of multiple safety systems depending on need.

Through a smart, unified system, the firm says that transport operators can ensure that operations are coordinated and efficient, saving costs and maximising efficiency while optimising road safety for drivers and passengers alike. The Exeros’ platform connects specific modules together including camera-based visibility systems, telematics and reporting, ADAS, AI driver alertness systems, passenger counting, and more.


Ilesbus UK picked ITT Hub to officially launch the latest in a long line of innovative products. The Iveco Daily 70C121-based i-City Max, as exclusively revealed in last week’s issue of CBW with an in-depth test drive, is a vehicle that has been designed to answer many of the requirements that both coach and bus operators have asked for. A low floor minibus that can do everything from local service work during the day to rail replacement and private hires in the evening.

Two variants of the i-City Max were on display at Farnborough; on the stand was a 29-seat example, whilst the 32-seat version was busy on the ride and drive test circuit. Director Gary Johns said that operators have been impressed with the i-City Max’s standard high specification of double glazing, CCTV and LED destination equipment, which the choice of Mobitec or Hanover units.

The i-City Max is also proving popular with operators in Ireland and Northern Ireland, JJ Kavanagh and Sons Bus and Coach Sales, Ilesbus UK’s Irish agent, is currently taking delivery of 50 examples, such is the demand for the product.

Gary also told CBW that: “I am very pleased to announce that the Ilesbus UK i-City Max has now gained its Low Carbon Emission Vehicle certificate after testing at UTAC Millbrook around four weeks ago. The team is now taking orders for all variants of the i-City Max on the Iveco Daily chassis, including the shorter 25-seater i-City model.”

Also on the stand was a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter-based i-City and an Iveco Glance PSVAR-compliant model with a new configuration of 31 seats.

The Sigma 7 is 6,990mm long and just 2,080mm wide, with a well designed and built interior. RICHARD SHARMAN













Making its public debut on the Mellor stand was the Sigma 7 battery electric zero-emissions bus. The new Mellor Sigma range comprises six models with overall lengths from seven to 12 metres and 31 to 83-passenger capacities, plus ‘city’ and ‘rural’ specifications and a number of width and passenger door configurations to broaden the range to over 20 individual variants.

In the six months since Mellor launched its new Sigma range of ‘zero-emissions zero-compromise’ buses at a special press preview at the end of 2021, the company has received a number of high-profile orders from customers in the UK and overseas, and says interest has been ‘at an extremely high level’ throughout the bus sector.

The Rochdale-based bus manufacturer believes its new product range offers a redefinition of zero-emissions public transport vehicles, launched at a time when global attitudes toward a more sustainable future are driving demand for cleaner solutions to public transport. The result is one of the largest ranges of low-floor battery-electric vehicles (BEV) buses from any manufacturer in Europe.

Mellor says that the key to the Sigma range’s operational appeal is its lightweight construction, thus allowing for smaller battery capacities to reduce energy consumption. In partnership with industry-leading component manufacturers – among them CATL, Webasto, ZF, Dana and Ventura – the Sigma range will be fully EU Type Approved. With a three-year bumper-to-bumper warranty, five-year battery warranty and 15-year structural warranty, Sigma presents a whole-life package that promises a low total cost of ownership.

The Sigma range also places Mellor firmly in the midibus sector. Initial seven and 10-metre Sigma models are available to order immediately, with customers placing orders today expected to take delivery of their vehicles by the end of 2022. A further four models, including eight, nine, 11 and 12-metre variants, will be phased in during 2022, with customer deliveries also expected within the same period.

“We’re thrilled at the initial response to the Sigma range from operators,” said Head of Sigma Sales at Mellor Richard Matthews. “Here is a new, purpose-built, product which delivers an uncompromising solution for a wide range of customer requirements. I’m extremely excited to be heading up the sales activities for arguably the most innovative new bus product in recent years. I mentioned previously that Sigma is going to be a game changer, and the response from the operating community has given us a clear signal that the bus sector’s been waiting for.”

The Yutong airside bus was one of the stars of the show. RICHARD SHARMAN












Pelican Yutong

Pelican’s stand at ITT Hub was filled with celebration as the firm confirmed the first bus order resulting from the Scottish Governments Zero Emission Bus Scheme (ScotZEB) has been awarded to them by McGill’s Buses. The order is for a further 41 vehicles in total, including 10 E10 10.9-metre buses and 31 E12 12.17-metre vehicles. It follows the 55 vehicles delivered in August and September 2021.

Ian Downie, Head of Yutong Sales, commented: “It is a testament to Ralph and the McGill’s team that with this order, nearly 25% of its fleet will be zero-emission – the majority of them Yutong. The successful introduction of the vehicles heralded a new level of calm and quietness for their passengers, and they have been widely welcomed by the travelling public. The driving range of the vehicles has exceeded expectations, even with the full electric air-conditioning in operation during the winter months.”

Ralph Roberts, CEO of the McGill’s Group, responded: “Placing this repeat order with Pelican Yutong was a very easy decision. The first two deliveries of 55 zero-emission Yutong buses were completed on time, on budget and completely without the normal teething issues we have come to expect with new buses nowadays. The buses have delivered exceptionally reliable availability whilst delivering class leading levels of electricity consumption. Our customers are impressed by their high quality finish and that is good for business.“

On the stand was a TCe12 electric coach for AirSym (see under the Zenobē heading for more), and a 3m wide, 13,800mm long electric airside bus with three sets on doors on the nearside and offside, plus a high specification E12 for Gwynedd Council which will operate on a long-distance Traws Cymru route. Fitted with ‘industry-leading’ safety systems, including ABS and Yutong Electric Safety Systems (YESS), it also benefits from WiFi, USB charging, and the latest passenger information systems.

A pair of 2022-registered Yutong E10s belonging to Newport Transport also provided free car park shuttles.

The Minibus Options-converted Renault Master E-Tech features a striking vinyl wrap for Forest Green Rovers. RICHARD SHARMAN












Renault Trucks

Amongst Renault Trucks UK’s latest HGV offerings was a new Renault Master E-Tech minibus bound for Forest Green Rovers football club. The club has partnered with Renault Trucks to support the club’s commitment to carbon neutrality and sustainable travel with its first 100% electric team minibus.

Liveried in the EFL League Two leader’s colours of lime green and black, inspired by club mascot ‘Neville the Devil,’ the new 14-seat L2H2 MWB minibus replaces an older diesel model, taking an estimated 6.4 tonnes of CO2 off the road each year. The cleaner, quieter electric minibus will be used primarily to transfer the Forest Green Rovers’ Academy and Ladies teams between training grounds, as well as supporting local marketing events around Gloucestershire and transporting club sponsors and VIPs on match days.

Powered by an R75 electric motor and 33kWh batteries charged using 100% green energy from power firm Ecotricity that includes some energy generated on site from solar panels on the stadium roof, the electric minibus provides a range of around 80 miles, ideal for operating on local journeys. The Master E-Tech was converted by Minibus Options, one of Renault Trucks’ approved converters, from its Ready for Business range.

Switch Mobility displayed its short Metrocity 8.7EV, the model is currently proving popular with London operators, with Metroline and Abellio London operating the type. RICHARD SHARMAN













Switch Mobility

One year on from its inauguration in April 2021, electric bus and light commercial vehicle manufacturer Switch Mobility says it has made progress over the last year.

Appearing at the ITT Hub event, the company noted that it has grown significantly, delivering on key strategic milestones in support of its mission to enrich lives through green mobility, delivering cleaner, smarter journeys that are accessible to all. With what it called a ‘significant forward order bank,’ Switch says it is continuing to grow in line with its global strategy. Andy Palmer, Vice Chairman and CEO, commented: “I am delighted with the progress we have made over the last 12 months. In a highly competitive sector, Switch has continued to grow, both in profile and in market share, and it is very pleasing that we are increasingly seen as a leading player in the industry. The investment interest we have garnered and the quality of partnerships we have formed are testament to that achievement. Our team of talented engineers have developed some of the most innovative vehicles and technologies currently available on the market, which continue to develop at pace. We have started 2022 well, building on last year’s momentum, and have an exciting 12 months ahead with the development of our site in Spain and further product launches, including our latest project at the European Mobility Expo in June, and electric LCVs in India.”

Mahesh Babu, Director & CEO of Switch Mobility India, and COO of Switch Mobility, commented: “Our focus is to provide efficient, clean, safe and lowest total cost of ownership value proposition for our customers. In India, the exponential 10-times increase in order book with 600 buses and almost 1,200 in the pipeline is a testament of the trust built on our brand and our products. Switch EV buses in India have clocked over 7 million kilometres across the country, saving 45,00 tonnes of CO2, with a significant uptime of over 97%. Our ability to bring value, along with our strong channel and service workforce, will certainly help us to establish Switch as a key player in India.”

Expanding its global footprint creating jobs and a workforce of experts, Switch has expanded to nine sites across three countries and announced a £300m investment to support development of new products, a technical centre in Warwick and a new office in Chennai.

Through its ’Project Odin,’ the manufacturer is set to launch what it says will be the lightest widely available 12m electric bus on the market at the European Mobility Expo in Paris on 7 June as well as a new 12m bus for India which will commence deliveries from June this year.

The Caetano H2.City Gold demonstrator showing off its joint Toyota and Caetano badging. RICHARD SHARMAN













Caetano and Toyota had a vehicle on their stand that is no stranger to CBW as it was featured in issue 1509, when we took the hydrogen-fuelled H2.City Gold 10.7-metre two-door bus for a test drive around Inverness, where it was on trial with Stagecoach in late 2021. The video for which can be found on our YouTube channel.

The vehicle carries Toyota and Caetano co-branding. This showcases both companies’ complementary technologies and engineering capabilities. It represents the first step in the co-branding strategy, which also includes the e.City Gold electric bus. At the heart of the co-branding is a change of the vehicle badging to include both Caetano and Toyota logos, acknowledging Toyota’s strong visual recognition amongst European customers.

The H2.City Gold has a range of 400km and can be refuelled in under nine minutes.


Solar transport solutions specialist Trailar demonstrated its flexible 3mm thin solar panel product for use on coaches and buses. The CIGS (Copper Indium Gallium Selenium) flexible solar panels can be installed to the vehicle roof in around six hours and directly interface with the on-board electrical systems. Using the energy harvested, the Trailar system powers all on-board ancillary equipment, allowing for reduced requirement from the vehicle’s alternator and providing up to a 1,800-litre annual fuel saving, along with concurrent CO2 saving of 4,800kg. A telematics platform and GPS Tracking are also included.


Tachograph analysis and fleet compliance specialist TruTac, showcased its suite of products on the company’s stand at this year’s ITT Hub. TruTac provides a ‘Compliance One-Stop Shop’ with modular based packages that can expand to fit any size fleet and are designed to simplify compliance management and thereby to save operators time and money.

The company’s products are suitable for all fleet sizes and sectors and include TruAnalysis, for complete tachograph compliance; TruChecks for daily vehicle driver checking; TruLicence which enables quick driving licence verification and TruFleet for complete fleet maintenance management. More new products and updates are set to be announced at the CV Show later this month.

The MCV-bodied Volvo BZL double deck will initially enter service with Metroline for trials on Transport for London services. RICHARD SHARMAN












Volvo Bus & Coach

One of the stars of the show, and for many the first chance to see it in the flesh, was the Volvo BZL. Volvo’s stand was located right in the middle of the display hall and the bus was hard to miss in gleaming Transport for London red. The MCV-bodied battery-electric double-decker, which is bound for in-service trials with Comfort DelGro-owned Metroline, attracted much attention throughout the two days.

The 10,585mm long bus features a driveline developed entirely by Volvo. The 200kW electric motor is coupled to a two-stage automated gearbox. This increases wheel torque at low speed and evens out current peaks, thus reducing energy consumption and sustaining motor and battery health. The driveline can be configured as a single or dual motor unit with a power output of no less than 540hp. The BZL is designed for charging flexibility using hardware interfaces for both OppCharge high-power charging on route as well as CCS charging in the depot.
Volvo Buses also offers a usable energy commitment, which means that manufacturer guarantees capacity for an agreed amount of energy for the operation, eliminating any customer worries about batteries.

Also on the stand was a new PSVAR-compliant Volvo 9700, allowing visitors to the stand to see the nearside mounted wheelchair lift in operation.

The GB Hawk Hydroliner made for an impressive sight with its technology on display on the roof line. RICHARD SHARMAN













Wrightbus has signed a deal with a major Australian bus body builder that it says could open up a significant export market. The Northern Irish manufacturer has partnered with Volgren to provide its hydrogen fuel cell powertrain technology for the manufacture of two zero-emission hydrogen single-deck buses which will be the first European-Australian hydrogen combination in the country.

Wrightbus leaders hope the first two buses will be the start of many as Australia looks to replace tens of thousands of buses with zero-emission vehicles over the next decade to hit its net zero commitments. The deal has been praised by the UK Government’s Department for International Trade, which provided assistance to Wrightbus as it looked to break into the Australian market.

The vehicles, which will be powered by Wrightbus NexGen hydrogen fuel cell powertrains, will be trialled in Australia, where it is hoped they will form part of the country’s push towards the introduction of hydrogen power.

The hydrogen powertrains will be built in the Wrightbus factory in Balymena and use the same technology as its StreetDeck Hydroliner double-deck and GB Kite Hydroliner single-deck buses. Since first entering passenger service in 2020, StreetDeck Hydroliners across the UK have clocked up their first million miles, preventing 1,700 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere on those bus journeys.

The Wrightbus-Volgren buses are expected to be ready for trial in early 2023. Wrightbus CEO Buta Atwal said: “As the UK’s leading bus manufacturer with world-leading products, we’re incredibly proud to be partnering with Australia’s number one bus body builder in Volgren. Like us, Volgren is always on the cutting edge of new and emerging technology to drive the industry forwards. There are some fantastic parallels between the two companies and we’re looking forward to a long and successful working relationship.

“This is the first time we’ve exported our powertrain technology to a bus body manufacturer, the first time we’ve entered the Australian market as a business, and the hydrogen buses will be the first of their kind to be built in Australia so this is a significant deal for everyone involved.

“We know from our extensive experience the significant part hydrogen can play in the decarbonisation of public transport and we believe the scope for uptake across the Australian market is huge as the country makes the vital switch to zero-emission vehicles. We’re excited to be in from the start.

Thiago Deiro, Volgren’s Chief Executive Officer, said the partnership with Wrightbus would bring the world’s leading hydrogen chassis technology to Australia: “We believe that hydrogen has an important place in Australia and Wrightbus is one of the most important global players in hydrogen buses. We are confident the partnership will help speed up the deployment of hydrogen buses in Australia.

“Wrightbus builds bodies for their products in the UK and Europe. In fact, they use similar body technology to Volgren, namely bolted extruded aluminium profiles. This shared expertise and understanding is one of the many aspects of the partnership that we think will make it a success.”

Thiago added the partnership was not just good news for sustainability, and the nation’s move towards green transport, but also for the economy: “By collaborating with Wrightbus we’re securing local jobs in Australia’s zero-emission future and creating knowledge and experience in hybrid fuel cell technology.

“Volgren has always been at the vanguard of adopting new technologies. We’ve proven that with the development of our battery electric buses and now we have the opportunity to do the same with our first hydrogen fuel cell prototype.”

Buta said the partnership, coupled with the company’s expansion plans in Europe being led by its recently-appointed European Chief Commercial Officer, would ensure the Wrightbus name would be known on the global stage, securing the UK’s reputation as a leader in zero-emission hydrogen technology.

The deal was welcomed by the UK Government, which has introduced a bill to help bring into force the UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement, its first independently negotiated trade agreement in more than 50 years. Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan noted: “Northern Ireland is home to one of the UK’s most dynamic manufacturing sectors, and I’m proud of our work helping companies like Wrightbus get export wins like this. They are paving the way for others to make in the UK and sell to the world.

“Our historic trade agreement with Australia is tailored to the UK’s strengths, and delivers for businesses, families, and consumers in Northern Ireland. By slashing tariffs and cutting red tape we are ensuring brilliant products and services reach global markets – creating jobs, boosting wages right and growing our economy.”

The Yutong TCe12 for Airsym was displayed on the Pelican Yutong stand. RICHARD SHARMAN













EV fleet and battery storage specialist Zenobē announced a partnership with Airsym at ITT Hub. Airsym is a specialist transport provider for airlines, airports and ground handling companies, and the partnership will see it place a new Yutong TCe12 electric coach into service. The coach will be used as part of a shuttle service for McClaren Automotive, transporting staff from Woking railway station to the company’s headquarters during the working week. On the weekends, it will be the first electric coach to operate airside at London Heathrow airport, shuttling airline crew to local hotels.

In its first step into the coach sector, Zenobē will be providing the financing and a managed service for the on-coach battery over the course of eight years. With the coach sector only at the beginning of its electrification journey, despite ambitious commitments from the industry and Government to reach net zero by 2050, Zenobē said the project marks an important step towards greener, cleaner transport.

Although coaches already provide a sustainable travel option, taking personal vehicles off congested roads, transitioning coach fleets to zero-emission alternatives is expected to save around 56,000 tonnes of carbon over the next decade and reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides equivalent to £225m in public health damage cost savings.

Steven Meersman, Co-Founder and Director of Zenobē, said: “We’re thrilled to be expanding into the coach sector and embarking on this journey together with Airsym. The coach industry faces several unique challenges to decarbonisation but through the right partnerships, it can today make the first step on this journey. We encourage any operators who are considering making the move to electric to speak with us about how we can support the process.”

Allen Jey, Managing Director of Airsym, added: “We’re delighted to add this new electric coach to our fleet and offer our customers a cleaner way to travel. Electrification is clearly the direction the industry is moving in, and we look forward to working with Zenobē, drawing on its expertise and extensive experience, to make a step on this journey.”

Phil Hodgson, Area Sales Manager at Pelican Bus and Coach, which supplied the Yutong TCe12, commented: “Pelican is delighted that Zenobē has provided vehicle financing on a new asset class of vehicles in the UK by financing a Yutong zero-emission electric coach to Airsym. We see this as a fantastic enabler to begin to transition the coach industry to net zero. Yutong has over 133,000 zero emission vehicles in service, operating over 29.3 billion kilometres. Our vehicles are tried, tested and proven.”