An electric double-deck demonstrator is being trialled by Reading Buses between 9 and 18 July. “Electric technology is reaching a point where we can see that some urban services could reliably be converted to battery electric vehicles in the near future,” said Robert Williams, Reading Buses’ Chief Executive Officer.
“We are teaming up with manufacturers BYD and Alexander Dennis to give their latest London double-decker a try to gather as much real-life data as possible from running the bus in Reading. We tried their single-decker on the Winnersh Triangle Park & Ride service in 2019. We are also keen to hear customer views as the layout is a little bit different to regular buses, partly to make space for some of the batteries.”
The bus is expected to achieve at least 160 miles between charges, and whilst some routes cover over 250 miles in a day, Reading Buses said its urban routes where the bus will be tested fit well within the lower limit.
The trial comes as Reading Borough Council submits a bid to the Government’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Area (ZEBRA) fund, to obtain funding to cover the cost of upgrading future urban bus orders from diesel to zero-emission electric vehicles. If successful, Reading Buses say the first orders could be placed in 2022/23.