Page 24 - Commercial Vehicle Engineer - August 2021
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 buses on the market, regardless of whether they're hydrogen or EV. It's vital we reduce our public transport emissions to stand any chance of reaching net zero.
“The move to zero emission drivetrains is complex as the operators have to consider the suitability of drive trains for specific routes and infrastructure costs in converting depots to meet zero emission fuelling needs. In Wrightbus we feel that we will be uniquely positioned to offer end to end support to the bus market given our tie in with Ryze Hydrogen and other companies that belong to our owner.
“It is estimated that in the UK alone there are upwards of 40,000 buses and coaches that will require a decarbonisation programme and the roll out of modern clean and quieter buses has already began in some progressive cities.”
Indeed, city operators are increasingly turning to electric and hydrogen powered buses. Led by London but with several other cities already implementing or planning to implement clean air zones, zero emission technologies are becoming more common on the roads and more accepted by operators, some of whom were initially hesitant about reliability and affordability, according to Paul Davies, president and managing director of bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis Ltd (ADL).
ADL, in partnership with BYD, has put more than 500 electric buses on the road in the UK. “Their reliability is on par with diesel buses, we are able to demonstrate that electric buses are viable, and governments’ support is helping to bridge the upfront affordability gap to allow bus companies to tap into lower operational costs,” says Davies. “This has enabled
a cultural shift with electric buses now viewed as the norm in many places.
“We are continually improving
our product and are already on the third generation of batteries. Further improvements are planned to increase range.”
Not only will these be improvements to batteries, but also the design of buses
Paul Davies, president and managing director of Alexander Dennis Ltd
ADL BYD bus in service in Glasgow
 “The speed of the roll-out of governments’ funding for zero emission buses will be a key factor in supporting the bus market’s recovery”
 and coaches, with greater aerodynamic efficiency an important part of this.
“Aerodynamics has always been an important part of coach design, and we are proud that our Plaxton Elite coach has always had one of the lowest drag coefficients in the market,” says Davies. “We are seeing improvements in bus aerodynamics as well, not least from the replacement of traditional wing mirrors with camera monitor systems.”
In the immediate future, Davies says bus operators are looking to the National Bus Strategy and other initiatives to
support the post-pandemic recovery and want to support this with targeted investment in high quality vehicles that deliver the passenger experience needed to drive growth.
“The speed of the roll-out of governments’ funding for zero emission buses will be a key factor in supporting the bus market’s recovery. The coach market, which has benefitted from less government support, may remain a little more sluggish initially but there are great opportunities in the growth of domestic ‘staycation’ tourism.”

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