West Midlands-based operator LandFlight Travel Services has introduced what is believed to be the area’s first battery-electric coach.
The 50-seater Yutong TCe12, powered by a 281kW/h battery, has been deployed on daily commuter routes for corporate clients. The operator estimates it will save CO2 emissions by 50,000Kgs annually. The vehicle’s charging needs are managed at LandFlight’s Solihull base, with a full charge granting the coach a travel range of over 200 miles.
According to LandFlight, the vehicle signifies a tangible push towards reducing carbon emissions in line with the region’s sustainability goals.
“Being fully electric means zero emissions when the coach is travelling, so this really is a very important leap forward in the West Midlands region to greener coach travel,” says LandFlight Director Danny Matthews.
He also points out the immediate passenger experience enhancement: “The first thing most passengers notice when travelling on our new electric coach is the silence, as there’s no engine.”
The transition to an all-electric model required an adaptation from LandFlight’s drivers. However, despite requiring special training, Mr Matthews reports positive feedback. “Our drivers are really enjoying it behind the wheel,” he says. “They undergo special training to familiarise themselves with driving an electric coach, but it is actually quite similar to driving a diesel model.”
Mr Matthews highlights the West Midlands Combined Authority initiative to transition all regional buses to non-diesel (zero-emission) by 2033 – but remarks that the authority has yet to establish a similar deadline for coaches. “As a business, and as an industry, we need to push forward with zero-emission coach travel and introduce new technology to reduce emissions where possible,” he adds.