Wrightbus has unveiled its first electric-powered vehicle with a 200-mile range, which can be charged in under three hours, despite the fact that last year the company warned electric vehicles increase the UK's dependency on China, where most of the world's batteries are made.
The report outlines how bus manufacturers and operators are hopeful the industry is on the cusp of a golden age after Boris Johnson pledged billions of pounds in investment.
Enhancing bus services is a key plank of government plans to avoid a car-led recovery as the country emerges from the pandemic.
The Daily Telegraph, print, Oliver Gill, 30 June 2021, page three
The Rural Services Network has concerns over the viability of electric buses in rural areas, as to cover an average rural route, it is likely that a range of 300 miles is required. This has implications for the number of buses required to cover a rural route if they cannot reach this level.
We welcome improvements to electric powered vehicles, and in our Revitalising Rural campaign, set out a number of Asks of Government in relation to Decarbonising Rural Communities which can be viewed at this link.
Our Ask in relation to Rural Buses is as follows:
Introducing buses using electric battery or hydrogen fuel cell technologies involves significant investment, both in new vehicles and depot fuelling facilities. This may be hard to justify
commercially in rural areas unless bus service patronage grows. The Government’s ZEBRA funding scheme should specifically target some uncommercial rural areas. Current electric buses also have a limited range that will be inadequate for some rural routes. A comprehensive review is needed of the electric grid and, where appropriate, hydrogen supply to avoid punitive upgrade costs arising in rural areas.
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