First Bus will begin trials of the new zero-emission bus from Arrival this autumn. The electric buses will operate existing First Bus routes in the UK.
The trial is the latest announcement from First Bus, which recently committed to operating a zero-emission fleet by 2035 and to purchase no diesel buses beyond 2022. It already operates electric buses in Leeds, Glasgow and York, a 99-strong biomethane fleet in Bristol and the world’s first hydrogen double-decker in Aberdeen, its home city.
The single-deck Arrival Bus has a passenger seating capacity of 36 with a single front door, and a flat floor for enhanced accessibility and greater standing space. The company estimates that the bus is around 40% lighter than alternative battery-electric equivalents through the use of common suspension front and rear, and common wheels and tyres. It has the option of both AC and DC charging and has 310.8kWh energy storage capacity. The range has not yet been revealed.
First Bus managing director, Janette Bell, said, “As leaders in sustainable mobility, we’re excited to announce our partnership with Arrival, helping us bring some of the most innovative zero emission vehicles on the market on to the UK’s streets for our customers and partners. We’re proud to be the first operator in the UK to trial Arrival’s electric buses and look forward to working together to accelerate the transition to zero emissions in our sector. We’re looking forward to seeing how customers react to the new buses when they’re trialled later this year.”