Marshalls Coaches of Leighton Buzzard has ordered two examples of the battery-electric Yutong TCe12. They will be used on its commuter services to London.
Managing Partner Glen Marshall says that while the 50-seaters will have more operating restrictions than diesel coaches, the type will suit commuter duties because daily mileages are known and within the TCe12’s capabilities. 2020 model TCe12s come with 281kW/h of energy storage.
The Yutongs will arrive in the summer. Mr Marshall is confident that the zero-emission coaches’ higher purchase price will be offset by a reduction in energy and maintenance costs. Marshalls will look after each Yutong TCe12 itself, with training given by supplier Pelican Bus and Coach.
“Although this is new technology for us, it is not new to the market. The driveline is well-proven in buses. Additionally, other operators have told us that they are pleased with the level of support from Pelican. Aftercare is important, but there is not a lot to go wrong with the TCe12.”
Mr Marshall adds that the uptake of zero-emission coaches would be enhanced if financial support was available from the government.
“That would make an electric coach more attractive, but the operator needs to have the right work for one. We expect to encounter a learning curve when the vehicles are delivered to get the best out of them.”
Mr Marshall also notes that the TCe12s will not be subject to any future pressures to upgrade to even higher emission standards. He does not rule out taking further zero-emission coaches in the future.