The future of public transport was on show recently in Cork as Harris Group introduced the new, fully electric Higer Azure.
The 12 metre city bus has a reported range of up to 400 km on a single charge, carrying 42 seated passengers plus wheelchair and standees, making it a first-of-its-kind on Irish roads.
The Higer Azure travelled from Dublin to Cork non-stop to showcase its range and “debunk” any myths around the capabilities of passenger commercial EVs. Produces zero emissions, the Azure is one of the most environmentally friendly public transport options available in Ireland.
Exclusive to the Harris Group, the new Higer Azure has been designed for the UK and Ireland markets.
Labelled a “smart” bus, the technology-equipped vehicle is able to learn its routes and adapt accordingly, ensuring it is super-efficient and economical to run and maintain.
According John McEvoy, chief operating officer at Harris Group, the new Azure is the “perfect antidote” to range anxiety. He said: “We’re delighted to launch the new Azure to the Irish market and given its capability and efficiency, it’s the commercial transport option city travel has been calling out for.
“We have worked very closely with our partners at Higer to develop intelligent technologies specifically for our commercial fleet. The technology effectively learns the roads and routes that the bus is being driven on and adapts accordingly to ensure optimum use of power; something we’re very proud to have been involved in.
“Coupled with this is the incredible fast charging capability of the Azure, which helps to minimise the downtime that some operators associate with recharging electric vehicles.”
He added: “This trial shows the capability of this advanced electric vehicle. It shows that it can easily operate for long periods in a city environment and at the same time be clean, efficient and sustainable.”
Harris Group already has several eight metre fully electric Higer Steed buses in operation. The addition of a bigger option with an expanded range is a “true game-changer” for public transport, according to McEvoy.
“The Government has been doing a lot of work to encourage the shift away from fossil fuels in Irish transport. And we know that Irish consumers are looking for more eco-conscious and sustainably-focused companies.
“We believe we have the ideal product to help support the sustainability agenda and we’re looking forward to showcasing the Higer Azure and other electric commercial vehicles in our range over the coming weeks,” McEvoy said.