Tower Transit orders 37 Optare Metrodecker EVs

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Tower Transit has ordered 37 Optare Metrodecker EV double-deckers. They will enter service on Transport for London routes 23 and C3 before the end of the year and will be Tower Transit’s first battery electric buses.

All will operate from Westbourne Park depot. They take to 89 the total number of Metrodecker EVs on order or delivered. In addition to the Tower Transit batch, Metroline has ordered 31 and First York will take delivery of 21 soon.

Optare promises that 100 examples of the Metrodecker EV will be in service by the end of 2020. Commercial Director Robert Drewery hints that further orders are to be announced soon.

Tower Transit Engineering Director Satnam Cheema says the Metrodecker EV was chosen following “a comprehensive study” of EV operations and the technology that is available.

“We were impressed with the performance of the Metrodecker EV demonstrator during trials,” says Mr Cheema. “The bus also enhanced our bid by offering a straightforward charging solution at Westbourne Park. We are confident of a successful launch and we intend to use the experience to win further EV routes in London.”

Adds Optare CEO Graham Belgum: “The partnership with Tower Transit has been developed through the tender process. We are now working closely together to deliver the customer’s specification.”

Optare says the Metrodecker EV delivers a “class leading range, capacity and efficiency.” A 150-mile range in winter conditions is claimed, along with a three-hour battery replenishment time with fast charging. ZF’s AVE 130 hub motor drive axle is used. Passenger capacity is a maximum of 96.