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Electric bus trial launched in Medway

Fri 17 January 2020, 10:02 am

An electric bus trial has launched in Medway to help the council tackle climate change concerns, while also working with smart technology.

The trial took place in October and was jointly organised by Medway Council, bus provider BYD and bus operator ASD Coaches. The 31-seater e-bus was used on the 170 service between Medway Valley Park and Chatham Waterfront Bus Station.

The council declared a climate change emergency in April 2019, and the zero-emission bus could be one of the ways the authority tackles environmental concerns.

The bus can be fully charged in less than four hours, at the operator’s Rochester depot, and this powers the vehicle for up to 18 hours during the day.

The e-bus offers free Wi-Fi and charging points on board, and following the trial the council will review the viability of an e-bus in Medway looking into what infrastructure the area needs if bus providers share an interest in introducing electric buses in the future.

Councillor Howard Doe, the council’s deputy leader and leading on Medway’s climate change agenda, said: “The trial of the electric bus is just the start of our work to find ways for Medway to become more environmentally friendly.

“We are committed to working with companies, partner agencies and the community to research and provide advice on small steps and sustainable changes which could be made to benefit future generations.” 

Hardip Dosanjh, of ASD Coaches, said: “We are excited to be a part of the big change in Medway. This is a positive shift in public transport and demonstrates our commitment to the future of a cleaner environment in and around Medway.” 

Frank Thorpe, managing director of BYD UK, said: “We are delighted to have been able to make available our latest 10.8m BYD ADL Enviro 200 bus for demonstration in Medway.

“The BYD ADL partnership is the market leader in electric buses in the UK (and Europe) and we supply not only the advanced bus itself but assist with the necessary infrastructure and charging facilities to ensure easy and efficient operation.” 

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