Stagecoach has completed a lengthy development programme with Bridgestone on the U-AP 002 flagship urban tyre. The group’s Manchester fleet of BYD ADL Enviro400EV battery-electric double-deckers are the first buses in Europe to use the product.
Bridgestone says that the U-AP 002 is its quietest bus tyre to date, with a 2dB reduction over its U-AP 001 predecessor. It has been developed to fulfil the needs of battery-electric and diesel-electric hybrid bus fleets. The tyre is suitable for use on 8,000kg steer axles, which the manufacturer says is “crucial” when the weight of batteries is factored in.
Sam Greer, Stagecoach Regional Director for Scotland and formerly the group’s Technical and Engineering Director (pictured, right), says: “As more and more electric vehicles roll out across the country, it is crucial that we have a reliable product that supports our aim of delivering cleaner air in the towns and cities we service.
“We are pleased to have worked with Bridgestone on the development and testing of its U-AP 002 tyres on our Manchester fleet. This cleaner, greener and quieter bus tyre has met all of our expectations and it supports our drive to improve sustainability of our services.”
The U-AP 002 cuts energy consumption through reduced rolling resistance. It delivers a 9% longer tyre life than its predecessor. Sidewall protection and a strong casing give robustness and multiple lives via retreading. Those attributes combine to reduce the total cost of ownership per kilometre, says Bridgestone.
Commercial Sales Director Greg Ward (pictured, left) adds that the ability for Bridgestone to test the tyre with Stagecoach over 18 months was critical to its development. The specification will be replicated in other European markets because of that work.
“The sight of Stagecoach’s green double-deckers silently travelling through Manchester really does make us feel proud. We have managed to design a solution that not only benefits Stagecoach’s unique requirements, but society and the environment as a whole.” He believes that future discussions around coach and bus tyres will move to battery efficiency, in much the same way that discussions centre on fuel efficiency today.
“That will become a more prevalent factor in the future, as battery life will be something that fleets want to prolong for as long as possible. The fact that our tyres assist in this area is a feature that we will look to communicate in the future.”
The U-AP 002 comes with an RFID electronic tagging system to allow traceability of casings and provide a system for data sharing and entry.