Arrival bus starts proving ground trials; public roads in Q1 2022

Arrival begins trials of battery electric bus at proving ground

Manufacturer Arrival has commenced proving ground trials of its battery-electric bus. The OEM says that the work will see the vehicle subjected to “rigorous validation and testing ahead of certification.” Once that testing is complete, use on public roads with First Bus will begin in Q1 2022 with production expected to follow in Q2. 

Arrival President Avinash Rugoobur says that the commencement of proving ground trials for the bus means that “all our milestones for 2021 have been achieved.” In February, a joint statement from Arrival and First Bus declared that on-road testing with the operator would begin in autumn of that year, although by September that timeframe had been amended to reflect the current state of play. 

In its latest announcement, Arrival has underlined how its bus will create “a new and improved public [transport] experience for all users – from drivers and passengers to engineers, cleaners and fleet owners.”

The bus will also reduce costs for operators, the OEM claims, “making the transition to electric vehicles more economically viable.” It has Arrival’s software ecosystem, enabling what the manufacturer says is full connectivity, digital customisation and deep access to vehicle behaviour and data. 

Vice President of Bus Platform Franck Dessenis adds: “We have seen strong interest in the bus this year, specifically from governments that are looking to upgrade their public transportation networks in order to achieve their zero-emission pledges. We are partnering closely with governments, cities and operators to build infrastructure solutions and seamless mobility services for local communities to support their clean energy targets.” 

Arrival estimates that the bus will be lighter than comparable battery-electric models thanks to lightweight recyclable composite materials, and common wheels and suspension at the front and the rear. It previously stated that the modular vehicle will be available at lengths between 10.5-15m. Battery capacity can be configured to suit specific needs, the OEM adds. 

A fleet of 44 Arrival buses for First York is at the centre of City of York Council’s bid to the Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme. It was submitted via the standard mechanism, for which the government has not yet decided which bids will be successful. It is understood that the purchase of further Arrival buses forms part of other ZEBRA bids in which First Bus is involved.

Download the City of York Council ZEBRA bid here.