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March 06 2019
By Tim Deakin

Tim is Editor of routeone and has worked in both the coach and bus and haulage industries.

'Significant number' of Metrodecker orders taken

Mixture of both EV and diesel among total as first of 31 Metrodecker EVs for Metroline into production

First production Metrodecker EVs. for Metroline, are currently in build

Optare has taken what it describes as “a significant number” of further orders for its Metrodecker integral double-decker, capturing both the zero-emission battery-electric EV model and the diesel-powered variant.

The news was revealed by Chief Executive Richard Butler. Optare currently has 12 of an order for 31 Metrodecker EVs for London operator Metroline in a dedicated production area at its Sherburn-in-Elmet factory. At that time, the first was almost complete internally.

That line was established in January, says Mr Butler, and it necessitated a significant alteration to the factory’s layout.

“Doing so was a big move for the company because at one point there was a view that we would build double-deckers elsewhere. But the Metrodecker is our premier product. I believe that it should be built at Sherburn.”

The buses for Metroline, which are part of what will be Europe’s largest fleet of electric double-deckers when they enter service on route 134 in the summer, will carry over 90 passengers and have a range of 150 miles on a single plug-in charge, the manufacturer says.

The first Metrodeckers that were ordered, five diesel examples for Reading Buses’ Green Line services between Bracknell and London Victoria or Heathrow Airport, will be delivered in the summer as planned, Mr Butler adds. “We are seeing growing interest in the Metrodecker and I expect that will increase as we deliver these first production buses to Metroline,” he says.

At Sherburn Optare is also currently fulfilling an order for 94 customised Solos for the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority. The centre-door buses have separate areas for women and children, and for men.

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