U.K. Company Orders 53 Zero-, Low-Emission Buses from Alexander Dennis

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Alexander Dennis Limited, a subsidiary of bus and coach manufacturer NFI Group Inc., has confirmed new orders for 24 zero-emission and 29 low-emission buses for English bus operator Reading Buses.

The 24 next-generation Alexander Dennis Enviro400EV double-deckers will be the operator’s first batch of electric buses. They are the result of a successful bid with Reading Borough Council for funding from the second round of the United Kingdom government’s Zero-Emission Regional Bus Areas scheme (ZEBRA 2).

Fitted with the heavy-duty variant of the Voith Electrical Drive System (VEDS) and using high-performance batteries storing up to 472 kWh of energy, the Enviro400EV is driving value through efficiency, longevity and flexibility. It is currently the most energy-efficient electric double-decker tested to Zemo Partnership standards in the UK Bus Cycle and offers warrantable energy throughput of 1.6 GWh over eight years.

The new buses will remove local exhaust emissions from Reading Buses’ busy Routes 17 and 21 when the zero-emission vehicles enter service in 2025. They will be easily able to run for a full day on these services, with charging taking place at the Reading Buses depot, which will be upgraded with 13 fast chargers that can each charge two vehicles at once.

“We have been undertaking extensive testing of demonstrators from a number of suppliers,” says Robert Williams, Reading Buses CEO. “The two things of paramount importance were the experience for the customers and experience for our drivers, before we considered the technical side of things. Of all the demonstrators, the new Alexander Dennis Enviro400EV has the best layout for customers on board, and the drivers who tested it were very impressed.”

The new zero-emission buses will allow Route 17’s current fleet of Enviro400CBG biogas buses to be redeployed on other routes to replace some of company’s oldest diesel buses.

Reading Buses is further investing in 29 new Alexander Dennis low-emission buses. This will include 21 new Enviro400 double-deckers for longer-distance routes, which follow 19 identical Alexander Dennis buses that the company introduced over the past 18 months. The other eight buses will be Enviro200 single-deckers that will completely renew the local Newbury & District fleet. All are due to be delivered later in 2024 and will utilize the manufacturer’s SmartPack efficiency technology to bring down exhaust and carbon emissions.

“We are delighted to welcome Reading Buses as one of the first customers for our next-generation electric buses,” says Mark Taylor, regional sales manager for Alexander Dennis. “Our next-generation Enviro400EV will give Reading Buses a great start into zero-emission technology, its class-leading energy efficiency and warrantable energy throughput ensuring that these clean buses will cost less to operate and keep going for longer.”

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