Reading Buses has commenced a trial of a battery-electric BYD ADL Enviro400EV demonstrator. It will be underway between 9-18 July and see the bus used on the Purple 17 route between Tilehurst and Wokingham Road.
Assessment of the vehicle in the Thames Valley town comes as Reading Borough Council submits an expression of interest to the £120m Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas scheme, with the support of the municipally owned operator. Reading Buses says that if the bid is successful, its first orders for zero-emission vehicles part-funded by the scheme “could be placed in 2022/23.”
Adds CEO Robert Williams: “Technology is reaching a point where we can see that some urban services could be converted to battery-electric vehicles in the near future. We are teaming up with BYD and Alexander Dennis to give their latest London-specification double-decker a try to gather as much real-life data as possible from running the bus in Reading.
“We tried their [battery-electric] single-decker on the Winnersh Triangle park-and-ride service in 2019.”
Mr Williams adds that Reading Buses will be encouraging customer feedback on the layout of the Enviro400EV, which differs to the Scania ADL Enviro400CBG double-deckers that the Purple 17 is usually operated with to take account of battery placement.