HART joins the ‘Mellor family’ with world-first Orion E

Commissioned by the door-to-door service, it comes as part of a joint venture between E.ON and Leader

Hornsea, East Yorkshire-based Holderness Area Rural Transport (HART) has taken delivery of a new Mellor Orion E, the world's first fully-low floor, all-electric minibus.

The vehicle was commissioned by HART as a joint venture between E.ON and Leader – a rural development programme for England funded by the European Union and UK Government.

World first

Launched in 2016 and taking two years to develop, the bus has a 16-seat capacity with single-step entry and a completely flat, low-floor saloon, which offers flexible seating configurations and space for up to four wheelchair users. 

Passenger access is through either a rapid sliding side-entry door or the double doors at the rear.

The vehicle is fitted with independent trailing arm suspension which helps to provide a large floor space that can be configured to suit customer needs.

‘Unique layout’

The Orion E achieves its unique layout by having an electric front wheel drive system, allowing the freedom to develop the passenger area without the intrusion of a prop-shaft and rear differential. 

It features regenerative braking and driver economy monitoring. The battery packs are expected to have a life of at least five years, though users of the same technology are now reporting battery life in excess of seven years.

Jane Dransfield, Area Sales Manager for Mellor, says: “It’s great welcoming HART to the Mellor family and we trust that drivers and passengers alike will be impressed by its performance, a comfortable ride and quiet, zero-emission operation.”