Standing Tall

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Unveiled for the first time at Busworld, the new double-decker was displayed alongside other products from Yutong’s range, including an 18-metre articulated bus. JONATHAN WELCH

Jonathan Welch takes a first look at the new Yutong U11DD, designed especially for the UK market and unveiled at Busworld in Brussels

Yutong is a name which no longer needs introduction to UK operators. Through the efforts of its UK imported Pelican Bus & Coach, it has established for itself a good reputation in a relatively short time, quickly gaining ground on existing UK manufacturers in the expanding electric bus sector. Its electric single-deckers can be found across the country, from the north of Scotland to South Wales, and the question on many people’s lips was when a double-decker would be available.

The answer to that is now. Already announced, the first versions have arrived with Pelican in the form of two demonstrators; a silver, moquette-seated example and the striking red vehicle proudly displayed on Yutong’s stand at Busworld Europe. Fitted with smart high-backed red leather seats, the bus certainly stood out in an exhibition largely focused on the European city bus market, dominated by three-door single-deckers and artics.


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With the vehicles set to go on trial with operators around the country in the coming weeks, a full test drive will appear in a future issue; here we take a brief look around the demonstrator, which looks set to disrupt the status quo in the UK double-deck market in the same way as its single-deck E10 and E12 cousins.

The design marks a departure from the look of the E10 and E12, and features the same squared look as some of the manufacturer’s home market products, with large vertical rectangular daylight running lights taking centre stage on the face of the bus. The large black area below the windscreen is offset by a chrome strip and Yutong logo, and on this example deep gloss black paintwork gives the effect of very deep lower deck windows; more gloss black links the lower and upper decks visually at the front and rear.

As with the single-deckers, the U11DD is fitted with ZF axles and running gear. It has a battery capacity of 385kWh, which can be increased to 422kWh should an operator wish. According to Pelican, simulated test data shows a range of up to 490km for the 385kWh version, and over 500km with a 422kWh battery, which should be adequate for most needs.

The bus also achieves a light weight of around 13,600kg thanks to its aluminium body construction, whilst Yutong says that it offers unrivalled access to components thanks to its chassis-less, integral design. The bus is designed to use DC charging, at 150 or 300kW.

Naturally, Yutong’s YESS battery management and electrical safety system is fitted as standard, and the batteries are housed in three locations around the bus: over the front wheels, one each side; forward of the rear axle; and at the rear.

Interior options are varied; the example on display features Yutong’s own seat design, but other types can be installed according to customer preference. Similar flexibility exists when it comes to items such as flooring, seat fabric or destination screens, Hanover, Mobitec or Synectics being options for the latter.

A camera mirror system has been fitted to this vehicle, and whilst the windscreen wipers are located at the top of the screen to reduce risks to pedestrians in a collision, and despite the red livery, Pelican says that the bus will not be offered in a London specification; Pelican’s Ian Downie explained that Yutong is not currently able to offer the automated emergency braking feature required by Transport for London on vehicles which carry standees or which are not fitted with seatbelts.

Of note is the new electric parking brake and magnetic cab door, designed to minimise rattles. Although the display vehicle had seatbelts fitted to the front and rear seats on the top deck, Yutong explained that these will not be standard on subsequent buses. Look out for a test drive soon.

The high-backed seats give the bright interior a plush feel. JONATHAN WELCH
Comfortable-looking tip-up seats are provided on both sides of the bus, in the wheelchair and pushchair spaces. JONATHAN WELCH
Initial impressions overall were good, though the layout around the rear seats may come in for some criticism. JONATHAN WELCH
The driver’s area will look familiar to thse who have already driven Yutong products. An electronic handbrake is a new feature. JONATHAN WELCH