Mellor expands electric bus offering

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Woodall Nicholson Group-owned Mellor is to offer two new variants of the Orion and Maxima that fall in scope of ZEBRA funding

Rochdale-based manufacturer Mellor has expanded its electric bus range with the introduction of two new models. The new low-floor Orion E23 and Maxima E23 both offer a passenger capacity of 23, bringing them within scope of the Zero-Emission Buses Regional Area (ZEBRA) funding for the provision of up to 500 new British-built zero-emission buses.
Mellor said that the vehicles represent a natural development of its product portfolio, as the public transport industry’s move towards e-mobility gathers pace. Both the new Orion E23 and new Maxima E23 are based on existing Mellor products and join an expanding line-up of electric vehicles, including the Orion E16 and also a range of electric van conversions ideal for DRT (Demand Responsive Transport) applications. The manufacturer said that its recent product developments continue the company’s commitment to its size- and cost-appropriate vehicle development strategy, offering a range of capacities from nine up to 23 passengers.

Orders for Orion E23 and new Maxima E23 are now being taken with deliveries expected to commence in summer 2021.

 

Mellors ays its DDA-compliant, low-floor Orion E23 provides the ‘ideal cost-appropriate solution for urban scheduled bus services,’ while the Maxima E23 – also DDA-compliant – will provide a zero-emission variant of its school bus offering. At 7,200kg GVW, the latter will be offered with an 8kWh battery capacity, giving a claimed range of 160km, whilst the former will have a 92kWh battery, and consequently larger 200km range, along with a lighter 5,500kg GVW.

Mellor says it has seen growing support for its recent ‘Big Bus Bias’ campaign, the company’s response to what it describes as the Department for Transport’s (DfT’s) ‘short-sighted and restrictive’ ZEBRA funding for smaller size-appropriate zero-emissions buses. With support from industry bodies, charities and from the Shadow Transport Office, Mellor says it remains steadfast in its view that the DfT has seemingly withdrawn Local Authorities’ ability to choose where to invest in zero-emissions buses – and, therefore, the essential services they deliver.

“The market has driven our investment into developing our electric product range,” said Bus Division Managing Director at parent company Woodall Nicholson, Mark Clissett, “and operators in particular have told us that they want Mellor electric buses in which to invest government funding. With significant investment, innovative engineering and a dedicated, highly-skilled team of designers, engineers and technicians, we can offer a zero-emissions solution on an already proven vehicle platform. The addition of full electric variants to our proven Orion and Maxima line-ups,” he added, “represents the organic development of our product range. We now have full-electric, zero-emissions buses to offer a size- and cost-appropriate solution for an increasing number of operators who are seeing their usual larger bus services become increasingly unviable.”