Newport Transport’s electric Yutong enters service

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Fourteen more E12s are scheduled to arrive in 2020

Newport Transport has purchased an ex-demonstrator Yutong E12LF electric single-decker from Pelican Bus and Coach, which will begin operating on regular services this week.

This makes YK66CBC the first electric bus to do so on a permanent basis in Wales, according to its new owner.

It is the first of many which are set to join the company’s fleet in the coming months, with 14 more scheduled to arrive in 2020.

The investment was enabled thanks to grant funding from the Department for Transport; Cardiff and Caerphilly were also beneficiaries of the £48m scheme, and have placed orders for 36 and 16 electric buses respectively as a result.

The E12 has 374kWh of capacity from its 12 battery packs
The E12 has 374kWh of capacity from its 12 battery packs

Much like Abellio with its newly-announced Caetano electric fleet in London, the Yutong’s batteries will be owned and maintained by Zenobe.

Charging will be taken care of at the Newport depot overnight, when the bus is not needed in service.

Speaking to the BBC, Morgan Stevens, Operations Director at Newport Transport, said: “It improves the quality of experience the passengers will have on the bus.

“It’s a lot quieter – there’s a lot less noise, a lot less vibrations on the engine – which will improve the passenger experience on short and long-distance journeys.

“The Welsh Government has already declared a climate emergency and there are a number of poor air quality zones in Newport that need to be addressed.

“So the first electric vehicles are going to go on one of those routes – that’s Caerleon and back – that’s got three poor air quality zones in it.

“With the M4 relief road now not being built, I think bus can offer that alternative of mass transportation and if we do it with electric vehicles, it ticks so many boxes.

“We can carry up to 70 or 80 people on a double-decker. I think it will hopefully reduce the congestion in Newport.”