Newport Bus Blog

Announcing our own fleet of zero emission fully electric buses

Newport Transport - Wednesday, June 05, 2019


We, at Newport Transport, are very excited to announce the Newport Bus fleet will soon be operating zero emission electric buses, making these the very first of this type of buses to operate in Wales.

The order is in place for fifteen Yutong E12 electric single-decker buses. The first bus in Newport Transport colours is due to arrive in July 2019. Seven vehicles will arrive in February 2020 and with a further seven due for delivery in April 2020. The fifteen zero-emission electric vehicles supplied by Pelican Engineering/Yutong will represent 15% of the vehicle fleet of Newport Bus.

It was announced on 6 February 2019 that Newport Transport would receive £1,342m of funding from the Ultra-Low Emission Bus (ULEB) Scheme. Newport Transport is working in partnership with Yutong UK, Pelican Engineering, and Zenobe Energy, an independent owner and operator of battery storage. Zenobe also works with the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) to ensure all projects are zero-emission and are compatible with the standards set in the UK government’s recent ULEB scheme.

Councillor Debbie Wilcox, Leader of Newport City Council, said: “This is excellent news especially as Newport Transport will be at the forefront of a revolution in public transport in Wales. Clean, efficient, zero-emission electric buses will significantly improve air quality across the city for the benefit of all those who live and work in Newport.”

The Yutong E12 can seat up to 39 passengers and has an operating range of up to 200 miles (330km) according to the manufacturer. The Yutong E12 will be the manufacturer’s first 12-metre electric bus operating in the UK. The driver and passenger experience is second to none, with separate air-conditioning for the driver and the passengers and no engine vibration or noise. The passenger seating is also enhanced with LED lighting and separate USB charging points.

Councillor Jane Mudd, chair of Newport Transport, said: “This is an exciting and ground-breaking development for public transport in the city. I’m proud that the company is leading the way in partnership with Yutong, Pelican Engineering and Zenobe Energy to guarantee that the buses meet the highest possible environmentally beneficial criteria.”

"As Newport Transport already utilises 214 solar panels, a significant proportion of the energy used to charge the buses will be from a renewable source," comments Scott Pearson Managing Director of Newport Transport, "This is the start of a very exciting journey for the company as it moves into providing the people of Newport with an environmentally clean option for travel in and around the City. We recognise that in this ever-changing world, sustainable renewable energy is essential, and this must include public transport.

This venture will mean that Newport will be the first area in Wales to operate zero-emissions buses for our customers and the environment.”

Lindsey Hayes commented on 30-Jun-2019 03:44 AM

This is great news both for passengers and drivers as many of the current NT buses are outdated and were, I have been told, secondhand buses from London or Scotland and are often dirty on the outside and incredibly noisy. Heating on some of the buses is off in the winter and on in the summer. I just hope that the Friars Walk bus station is able to accommodate the new buses.

I would like to add to my previous comment the following question - where will the buses be charged. Will it be at the bus depot or the bus station? I was told today by an unreliable source that the Friars walk bus station will be closing in order to install charging points for the electric buses but a driver said that they will be charged in the depot overnight.

Lindsey Hayes commented on 02-Jul-2019 02:52 PM

Thank you for your responses to my previous queries. Can you now please tell me if contactless payments can be made on the electric buses.? Thank you Lindsey

RESPONSE: The contactless is tied to our ticket machines. When we upgrade all our fleet will be upgraded to accept contactless at the same time. No timescale is available at the moment. In the meantime, our Freedom card can be used as a cashless bus card. It also gives you 10% off your bus ticket. Full details are available under the Smartcards header. Thank you

Ray commented on 20-Aug-2019 04:37 PM

Electric buses got to be good. However, we had these 50 years ago with proper motors and control gear (trolleybus), very reliable and energy-efficient. These vehicles are totally different, complex electronic control system, big toy motors linked to a large number of cells. Any unbalance here will result in trouble. Let's hope that the new Li-ion cells prove to be reliable. A real system is with trams using a third rail as with railways. This was used in the 20s in New York. As for zero-emission, even with solar panels, there is CO2 generated from the processing of the materials. Otherwise, it's not going to be much better than diesel. I maintain that all public transport should be electric. Whatever form this may be, it's better than the noisy IC engines.

RESPONSE: Thank you for your comment. The good news for Newport Transport is that thanks to our partnership with Zenobe Energy, the energy required to charge the batteries will be from renewable sources. As we already utilise 214 solar panels, these will also be used to charge the batteries (around 20%). The obvious benefit of using electric vehicles is the lack of emission and the reduce noise, however, there is also less wear and tear due to less moving parts in the vehicle, thus reducing the overall maintenance cost.

Aidan Turner-Bishop commented on 16-Sep-2019 09:23 PM

I remember travelling on the electric trolleybuses in Cardiff in the 1960s; very clean and quiet they were too. Electric trolleybuses also operated in Llanelli, Aberdare and briefly in Rhondda.

R Simmonds commented on 20-Sep-2019 12:30 PM

When are we going to see this new vehicle? Yes, all public transport should be electric, but using any kind of battery is not the way to go in the long term. The main routes should be 3 rail pickup. However, Newport will not see anything as we had with the wired trams or the third rail system. Li-on battery technology is still new, with old problems of cell trouble. Less maintenance, yes, very few moving parts but complex electronics that will be difficult to repair! As for zero emissions, CO2 produced at the power station or in the manufacture of solar panels and everything else that's needed! IT'S STILL A GOOD STEP FORWARD THOUGH.

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