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/

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