The Harrogate Bus Company, owned by Transdev Blazefield, buys eight electric buses from Volvo. The vehicles will operate in Harrogate, 90 km northeast of Manchester.
When the vehicles enter service in 2018, the project will be the first of its kind in the UK introducing full electric vehicles using ‘opportunity charging’ via the common interface OppCharge, whereby the charging stations can also be used by electrified buses from other vehicle manufacturers.
Opportunity charging takes place via a specialist overhead mast, which connects to the bus via a pantograph. Charging is fully automated and takes between three and six minutes to complete. Volvo’s electric bus has 80 percent lower energy consumption than the corresponding diesel bus.
“It is extremely gratifying that Volvo’s first full electric buses will enter into service in the UK next year. The UK is one of our biggest markets for our electromobility program and we are excited about working together with Transdev Blazefield to make Harrogate a UK leader in clean, green public transport”, said Håkan Agnevall, President Volvo Buses.
The new electric bus project is also being welcomed by Transport Minister and Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones, who said: “Harrogate is set to become a low emission bus town. Transdev Blazefield has shown huge ambition and the technology for this is a first for the UK.
The largest single market for Volvo’s hybrid buses thus far is the UK, which accounts for almost half (1,425) of the vehicles in operation.