Reading Buses orders ADL electrics

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The operator will take delivery of electric and diesel buses. ALEXANDER DENNIS

The municipal operator has placed an order which includes its first electric buses

Reading Buses has confirmed new orders for 24 zero-emission and 29 diesel-powered buses. The 24 next-generation Enviro400EV double-deckers will be the operator’s first batch of electric buses, and are the result of a successful bid with Reading Borough Council for funding from the second round of the Zero-Emission Regional Bus Areas scheme, ZEBRA 2.

The new electric buses will be used on Reading Buses’ busy routes 17 and 21 when they enter service in 2025. Charging will take place at the company’s depot, which will be upgraded with 13 fast chargers that can each charge two vehicles at once.

Reading Buses Chief Executive Officer Robert Williams said: “We have been undertaking extensive testing of demonstrators from a number of suppliers. The two things of paramount importance were the experience for the customers and experience for our drivers, before we considered the technical side of things. Of all the demonstrators, the new Alexander Dennis Enviro400EV has the best layout for customers on board, and the drivers who tested it were very impressed.”

The new zero-emission buses will allow route 17’s current fleet of Enviro400CBG biogas buses to be redeployed on other routes to replace some of company’s oldest diesel buses.

The remaining 29 new buses will include 21 new Enviro400 double-deckers for longer-distance routes, following on from 19 identical buses that the company has introduced over the last 18 months. The other eight will be Enviro200 single-deckers that will completely renew the affiliated Newbury & District local bus fleet.

Regional Sales Manager for Alexander Dennis Mark Taylor said: “We are delighted to welcome Reading Buses as one of the first customers for our next-generation electric buses. Our next-generation Enviro400EV will give Reading Buses a great start into zero-emission technology, its class-leading energy efficiency and warrantable energy throughput ensuring that these clean buses will cost less to operate and keep going for longer.

“We’re also thrilled to continue our partnership with further low-emission buses, building on similar investment in recent years and demonstrating our unrivalled ability to offer complete solutions for all fleet requirements.”