Fleet of 29 electric double deckers for UK west midlands

The electric vehicle partnership between Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) and BYD Europe has supplied the first of 29 BYD ADL Enviro400EV double deckers to National Express West Midlands in the UK.

The buses are charged entirely by renewable energy and utilise a stationery battery system to balance the load on the electricity grid.

The 10.9m long buses are built to National Express’s Platinum standard, offering extra legroom for the 65 seated passengers as well as USB chargers, free wi-fi and other amenities. An advanced heat pump system ensures that saloon heating power is supplied efficiently from the main batteries without undue impact on operational range.

The first 19 of these zero-emission buses have now entered service in Birmingham, where the operator’s 80-year-old Yardley Wood garage has been retrofitted with plug chargers for each bus along with a stationery battery, provided by Zenobe Energy, that balances the load on the grid.

Ten further vehicles will be introduced in Coventry in the autumn. The investment has been supported with a £3m grant from the UK government’s office for Low Emission Vehicles.

Tom Stables, managing director of National Express UK, said: “At National Express, zero-emission is not the future – it’s the here-and-now. Our bus fleet will be zero emission by 2030, and we’re very proud to bring fully electric buses to the people of the West Midlands. I’d like to thank all the drivers, trainers, engineers and managers who have worked so hard behind the scenes to make this happen.”

Colin Robertson, chief executive of ADL, said: “National Express has taken the decision to never buy another diesel bus, the first UK bus operator to do so. We have worked in close collaboration with National Express West Midlands and our partner BYD to ensure that these first 29 electric buses are a great start into a zero-emission future for Birmingham, Coventry and the wider West Midlands.”

“The commitment to a zero-emissions fleet from National Express is as commendable as it is bold,” said BYD (UK) MD, Frank Thorpe, “and is indicative of more and more Public Transport Operators who see electrification in particular as a viable long-term solution for their scheduled routes. Our BYD ADL Enviro400EV double decker is a proven product, already in service with a growing number of customers, delivering tangible operational benefits and providing safe, quiet, emissions-free transport for their passengers.”

The BYD ADL Enviro400EV zero emission double decker was launched just over a year ago, offering easy electrification for busy bus routes. Over 250 have been sold to date and two thirds of them are already in service in UK cities.