Is Europe ready to make the Switch?

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Switch’s e1 has a distinctly different look when compared to its European city bus rivals. SWITCH

Jonathan Welch takes a closer look at the Switch e1 ahead of its début in the UK at Euro Bus Expo

Designed under the ‘Project Odin’ name and launched in June this year, Switch’s e1 marked the start of a new era for the company as it sheds its former Optare image and moves towards an all-electric, international future. Odin, the Encyclopaedia Britannica tells us, was the great magician amongst the gods of Norse mythology, but will the new bus, designed specially for the European market, work its magic on continental operators and make for a spell-binding proposition?

Although we haven’t yet been able to get behind the wheel to bring you a full test drive, CBW was invited to Switch’s plant at Sherburn in Elmet, North Yorkshire, to have a closer look under the skin of the new bus.

The Switch e1 is not the firm’s first foray into the international market; Optare products have made their way to Australasia, South Africa and the Netherlands. Nor is it the company’s first electric bus; Optare has been producing electric versions of UK models for 14 years, including the fleets of electric Versas and Metrodeckers which operate almost on the doorstep of the North Yorkshire factory on York’s impressive park & ride operation.

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