Newport Bus Blog

FAQ on the electric bus

Newport Transport - Monday, October 21, 2019

NEWPORT BUS

Following comments on our social media pages, please find below answers to the most common questions received on our fully-electric buses. Please do not hesitate to comment below. We will endeavour to respond to any relevant comments.

  1. Electronic and buses – what about if the bus runs out of power?
  2. The electric bus will not be running out of power. In operations, the bus will return to the depot when the charge reaches approximately 20%. This first addition to our fleet is an ex-demonstrator bus. However, the next fourteen buses will have a higher power charge, which will increase the range of operation.

  1. Electric buses are not really zero emission vehicles as electricity is required to charge the batteries. What is the infrastructure in place at the depot?
  2. Newport Transport has partnered with Zenobe Energy, an independent owner and operator of energy storage. Working with Zenobe ensure that the energy required to charge the buses will be from renewable sources. Newport Transport already utilises 214 solar panels and this is in the process of being expanded. We are working with our partners to ensure that the operations of our electric buses will be as close to zero emission as possible.

  1. It has been reported in the press about children as young as five years old working in mines to get the elements to make the electric batteries.
  2. The elements mined to produce the batteries supplied by Yutong are iron, phosphate and lithium. The reference to child labour is in relation to the mining of cobalt, which is not used in these batteries.
    By working with reputable partners, we ensure that due diligence was given to the accreditation of suppliers.

  1. Will the bus be able to operate a whole day on one charge?
  2. The current bus is expected to cover 187 km (116 miles) on a single charge, making it suitable for most routes around the City of Newport. The next new fourteen buses will benefit from larger batteries increasing the range to 380 km.

  1. What route will the electric bus be operating on?
  2. The current bus is used on most of the routes that currently operate a full-size single-deck vehicle. The mid-term objective is to lower the air pollution in the areas of the city which suffer the most with poor air quality. Therefore, seven of the fourteen buses will be dedicated to the Caerleon Road corridor, which has two areas of poor air quality. The other seven buses will be allocated closer to the time of operation.

  1. The electric bus appears to be a small bus with steps inside, making it dangerous for the elderly and disabled and with very limited seating.
  2. All buses are low floor and compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). The Yutong E12 electric buses ordered by Newport Transport are similar to our current single-deck fleet and have a seating capacity of 39 seats.
    We are reviewing the option of a smaller bus to operate on the routes that can only cope with smaller size vehicles.

  1. Will this first electric bus be permanent in the streets of Newport?
  2. The introduction of electric buses in the Newport Transport fleet is part of our bus replacement strategy. Thanks to the partnership in place with Pelican Engineering and Zenobe Energy, the cost of an E12 is comparable to a diesel bus. In addition, there are substantial financial savings due to lower maintenance requirements, believed to be in the region of 33% compared to a diesel bus.
    At present, the limitation to extend the introduction of the electric buses is the range. Newport Transport required a third of its vehicle to exceed the current range of 340 km of the new vehicles. This will improve overtime as battery technology improves.

  1. Why did you choose the Yutong E12?
  2. We have trialled various models of electric buses over the last 12 to 18 months in order to choose the one that will be best suited to our network. The feedback received on the Yutong demonstrator was very positive. Research into driver and passenger acceptance showed a 94% rating from passengers and 96% from drivers, in contrast with scores in the region of 70-80% on the previous vehicles tested.
    In addition, the manufacturer Yutong is one of the largest electric bus manufacturers in the world, with the experience of thousands of buses with the same battery and drive train in service.

    Further information is available on our partners' websites:
    Pelican Engineering / Yutong https://pelicanyutong.co.uk/yutong-e12-the-first-electric-bus-in-service-in-wales/
    Zenobe Energy https://zenobe.co.uk/zenobe-on-bbc-wales/

South Wales Argus Business Awards 2019 Finalist – environmental business of the year

Newport Transport - Wednesday, October 16, 2019

NEWPORT BUS

We’re delighted to announce that Newport Transport has been nominated as a finalist for this year South Wales Business Awards – category Environmental Business of the Year 2019.

The awards, which are run in association with Newport Now Business Improvement District (BID), are a perfect opportunity to showcase the achievements of our business community.

Newport Transport has been chosen as a finalist under the category Environmental Business of the Year after the presentation of our outstanding commitment towards better air quality and cleaner roads around the city of Newport.

Our 2019 environmental campaign started in May 2019, when after months of planning, trials and discussions with government bodies and commercial partners, Newport Transport announced the placement of a firm purchase order for 15 fully electric single-decker buses. This order for E12 Yutong fully electric vehicles will represent over 19% of our fleet of full-size buses by March 2020. Read more here

On 20 June, we took part in the national Clean Air Day event in the grounds of the Royal Gwent Hospital. We hosted the event on board of one of our double-decker buses, where nurses of St Woolos Hospital Chest Clinic ran CO monitoring to identify any high levels of Carbon Monoxide that may (in a non-smoker) be a consequence of air pollution. Newport Bus provided support on route planning and fares in order to help people considering public transport as an appealing alternative mode of transport.

In July, we started our #MakeTheSwitch campaign with a series of posters at the back of our buses. With buses widely recognised as a cost-effective way to reduce road congestion and cut carbon emissions, our choice of messages was very fitting: Parking Ticket or Bus ticket?; Relaxation or Frustration?; Free Up Roads - Free Up Time. Read more here

Late August, we launched the first fully electric zero-emission bus to operate in Wales. You can read more about this existing story on the BBC Wales website and witness the quietness of the ride. The next 14 buses are currently being manufactured and will be with us early Spring 2020.

We’re not stopping here: We are already looking at smaller electric vehicles to operate the narrower areas of the city and at ways to make it easier for people to use the bus for their regular commute.

Scott Pearson, Managing Director for Newport Transport comments: “We’re delighted to be receiving this recognition. 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. “

 



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