Nottingham City Transport (NCT) will take delivery of at least 48 Yutong E10 and E12 battery-electric buses as part of a successful bid by Nottingham City Council to the first round of Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) funding, the operator has confirmed.
An initial 12 examples of the E12 were ordered in 2022, and the Chinese marque and its UK dealer partner Pelican Bus and Coach have since gained two further orders of 12 and 24 buses, respectively. The opening batch has been delivered to Nottingham, with the next 12 due by April and the remaining 24 in March 2025.
Nottingham’s successful ZEBRA bid will ultimately part-fund 78 battery-electric single-deck buses for NCT. The business case for ZEBRA funding submitted to the government in 2022 showed that those 78 represent NCT’s single-deck fleet in its entirety.
The operator additionally hopes to replace all of its remaining diesel buses over the next four years to leave it with biogas and battery-electric as power sources at the completion of that work.
Managing Director David Astill adds that the first E12s are “the exciting start of our journey to a battery-electric fleet.” NCT has “been impressed by the flexibility and enthusiasm offered by Pelican and Yutong to build a bus with coach-like comfort to a challenging specification set out by the NCT team.”
Zenobe is providing charging infrastructure and software for the buses at Trent Bridge depot. Three of the initial 12 E12s were displayed there recently in various colour-coded liveries for the operator’s city network.
In placing the initial order, NCT noted that Yutong and Pelican got the nod after “a rigorous public procurement process.” Head of Yutong UK Ian Downie has described delivery of the first 12 as “a significant step for Nottingham City Transport and it journey to zero emissions.”
Mr Downie adds that NCT “challenged us to produce a customer-centric vehicle, and we are extremely proud of what has been achieved.
“The vehicle is fitted with full colour front destination display, luxury trimmed high-backed seating, new ‘swept’ hand poles, illuminated bell pushes, and our electric air-conditioning system for maximum customer comfort.”
Mr Astill says that a comprehensive familiarisation programme for drivers and engineers is underway, and that both of those parties “are full of praise for these new buses. I am confident that our passengers will be equally impressed.”