Our fleet of Yutong electric buses

Following two years of testing, choosing, partnering and waiting for their delivery, Newport Transport is now proud to operate a fleet of 33 fully electric buses. Representing 32% of its fleet daily requirement, Newport Bus electric fleet is also the first of this size in the UK, outside London.

By using electric buses, Newport Transport estimates that they will remove approximately 11,550 tonnes of Co2 and 4,500 kg of NOx over the next 15 years. Since the start of this amazing project to Clean Air Day 2021 (June 17), 485.58 tonnes of CO2 have been saved. This is approximately 32.4 tonnes of CO2 per bus since the start or, assuming that the buses are used 6 out of 7 days (ignoring Sunday), it is approximately equivalent to 2.3 tonnes of CO2 per day.

It all started with a fleet of one 66-plate ex-demo Yutong E12 and fourteen new Yutong E12 single deck fully electric buses. In June 2022, we are adding a mix of shorter E10 Yutong and more E12 vehicles, all on a 22 plate. The specifications of the new electric buses have been chosen with high quality and comfort in mind for our passengers. Onboard, passengers will find 39 beautifully branded E-leather seats including two extra-wide seats, USB charging points for every seat, enhanced LED lighting, a fully filtered aircon separate for driver and passengers and of course no noise or engine vibration.

With 422-kilowatts batteries on these vehicles, there are no concerns about their range of operation. They can achieve up to 200 miles (380 km) on a single charge, enough to operate a full-day service in Newport. The batteries, managed by Zenobe Energy, are charged off the grid via a TESLA battery storage installed at our operating depot. The battery storage uses the electricity of the grid as well as the energy produced by 214 solar panels fitted to the roof of the depot. Using special DC charging points, the vehicles can be fully charged in as little as 3 hours overnight, ensuring that all vehicles are fully charged and ready for the next day of service. The energy used is not only green, but it is also local. 

We chose the Yutong E12 after extensive trialling with the demonstration bus receiving a 94% acceptance rating from passengers and 96% from drivers, this was in contrast with scores in the region of 70-80% on the previous vehicles tested. Besides, the Yutong buses are not a new technology, with more than 60,000 fully electric buses with the same driveline in service in the world. Yutong has been manufacturing electric buses for over 15 years and produces 370 electric vehicles a day in its factory. This tested and proven model gives us peace of mind with regard to the reliability and maintenance of the vehicles.

Choosing Yutong also enabled us to take delivery of the fleet sooner, as we were determined to be at the forefront of the electric bus revolution. We were successful in obtaining £1.342 million in funding through the ULEB (Ultra Low Emission Bus) scheme from the Department for Transport to invest in electric vehicles. We also found two partners in Zenobe Energy for the batteries and charging infrastructure and Pelican Bus and Coach, the exclusive UK distributor for Yutong buses, who will provide full training and long-term support to our engineering team. Further investment and funding were later released enabling us to progress the conversion of our fleet to a zero-emission at the tail pipe.

The long-term partnership with Zenobe Energy is also part of Newport Transport’s sustainability vision for the business. Zenobe Energy is providing Newport Transport with a push-button solution that includes energy storage, charging infrastructure, solar PV and a battery service plan. This level of support ensures the vehicles continue to go the mileage over their life. Working with Zenobe Energy provides us with the reassurance that the depleted batteries will have a second life as battery storage, increasing their lifespan by 3 to 6 years over their normal usage of 8 years in standard service.

For further details, please see our FAQs when the first bus was launched in 2019 - Click here .

You can also have a virtual experience thanks to BBC Wales who this little film put together when the first bus went into service in August 2019.