Optare is to deliver 21 double-deck electric vehicles to First York in October 2019 following a successful bid by the operator and City of York Council for funding from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles.
The full electric buses will have the capacity to carry 99 passengers and have a range of more than 150 miles from an overnight charge, which means that they don’t need to be recharged during the day, according to Optare. First York is also upgrading its charging infrastructure, and the new buses will feature audio visual next-stop technology, USB charging points and a new-look park-and-ride branding.
York’s park-and-ride carries more than four million passengers a year and 12 electric single-deck Optare buses have been operating on two out of the six sites for the last five years.
“I’m delighted that City of York Council has been successful in securing funding from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles towards the cost of these new buses and I welcome First York’s ongoing investment in the park-and-ride fleet,” says Peter Dew, executive member for transport and planning.
Marc Bichtemann, managing director, First York, adds: “We’re proud to be the operator of one of the biggest fleets of double-deck electric buses outside of London, as we continue to work with City of York Council to improve air quality in York.
“Today’s announcement showcases the benefits of partnership working in practice and we remain committed to investing in our bus services in York, as we share the same vision.”
Optare’s commercial director, Robert Drewery, says: “In 2014, our electric single-deck Versas began operation on the city’s park-and-ride service. We have built on five years of valuable EV experience in York to develop our product range.
“In 2017, Optare partnered with First and City of York Council in launching our prototype electric double-deck into service. The lessons learned during the trial have been fundamental in shaping the design of the Metrodecker EV, designed and manufactured in Yorkshire.”