Nottingham City Transport’s New Electric Buses Enter Service!

1 month ago Fri 12th Apr 2024

Electric Pink 30 Bus.

The first of Nottingham City Transport’s brand new electric buses entered service and started carrying their first customers this week.

Monday 8th April 2024 saw the first buses start running on Red 50 to Sneinton, Colwick and Victoria Retail Park, followed by Pink 30 to Ilkeston Road, Wollaton and Bramcote on Thursday 11th April. Video from the first day of service can be found here. 

The buses come to NCT’s usual high specification, but boast several new features, including:

  • air conditioning as standard
  • re-positioned visual next stop screen, including a rear facing screen which can be seen from the wheelchair bay
  • extra leg room between seats
  • bigger buggy bay
  • hearing loop system fitted
  • no tip up seats in the wheelchair bay, which helps reduce conflict over use of the space
  • USB-C charging points
  • full colour destination displays that are easier to see from a distance and in the dark

David Astill, NCT Managing Director said, “This is the very start of an exciting new era in the long history of NCT. We are keen to play our part as Nottingham aspires to become a carbon-neutral city. The delivery of our first 24 electric buses marks just the start of a programme that will see our remaining diesel powered buses replaced by electrics as they become due for withdrawal.”

Following a successful joint bid by Nottingham City Transport and Nottingham City Council to the Department for Transport’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) Fund, NCT has ordered 48 electric single deck buses and installed new charging infrastructure at its Trent Bridge Garage in the Meadows.

Funded by UK Government

The total cost of the new buses and infrastructure is £32.2m, with £13.4m from ZEBRA and £18.8m from NCT over the lifetime of the vehicles.

Angela Kandola, Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Transport said, “It’s great to see the new electric buses now on Nottingham’s streets helping to reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality and make our city a healthier place to be. I know local residents will enjoy using these brand new modern state of the art buses.”

Blue 39 to Thorneywood and Carlton Valley will see its new electric buses start running next week.

A further 12 new electric buses will follow by the end of May, with Green 11/A/C to Meadows, Lady Bay and Gamston; Blue 40/X to St Ann's, City Hospital and Edwards Lane Estate and Blue 41, 42 to St Ann's destined to receive them.

The remaining 24 electric single deck buses will enter service in the first half of 2025.

Following a rigorous public procurement process and operational trial of many electric buses, NCT ordered its buses from the world’s largest bus manufacturer Yutong Bus and Coach, with UK based Pelican Bus and Coach adding about 40% of the value of the buses when finishing them to NCT’s requirements at their factory in Yorkshire.

Yutong Bus & Coach have 180,000 electric vehicles operating across 100 countries around the world, where they’ve covered a combined 25.1 billion miles. The first Yutong electric bus started operating in the UK in 2018, with operators in Glasgow, Cardiff, Newport and nearby Leicester speaking very favourably about their performance.

Ian Downie, Head of Yutong UK said, “This is a significant step for Nottingham City Transport on their journey to zero emissions. The Nottingham team have challenged us to produce a customer centric vehicle, and we are extremely proud of what has been achieved. The vehicle is fitted with full colour front destinations, luxury trimmed high backed seating, new swept hand poles, illuminated bell pushes, and our electric air conditioning system for maximum customer comfort”.

The electric buses are 100% electric and zero emission when in service, with no tailpipe emissions and are charged directly from the National Grid. They achieve a 79% saving in Well-to-Wheel greenhouse gas emissions compared to existing Euro VI diesel buses.

The buses can do a full day in service on a single charge, with the charging infrastructure delivered, supplied and maintained by Zenobē, who work with 90% of the major bus operators in the UK. The EV fleet specialist has also integrated its smart charging software into NCT’s depot infrastructure to optimise charging in the most financially and operationally efficient manner. In addition to a fully managed charging service, Zenobē has also financed 24 batteries on board the vehicles, including a 16-year performance guarantee.

Steven Meersman, Co-Founder and Director Zenobē, said: “This is Zenobē’s first project with Nottingham City Transport, we are pleased to be on board to not only deliver the depot’s charging infrastructure but as a long-term EV fleet partner. Our fully managed charging service will allow NCT to focus on continuing to deliver outstanding service for their passengers, knowing their critical charging infrastructure will be maintained and on-board batteries will be guaranteed to meet route requirements for 16 years".

When NCT’s electric bus project is fully delivered, 3,800 tonnes of CO2e will be saved each and every year. Over the lifetime of the buses, they will also make a significant contribution to wider efforts to improve air quality, with an estimated 31 tonnes of harmful NOx and 777kg of PM2.5 removed from the atmosphere.

Further details about NCT’s electric buses can be found at www.nctx.co.uk/electricbus