Brighton operator The Big Lemon is the first UK customer for the Higer Steed battery-electric bus. It has taken delivery of four of the type with funding from the government’s ultra-low emission bus scheme. They have been supplied by Dublin-based Harris Bus and Coach and will allow the operator to run all its services with zero-emission vehicles.
Three of the Steeds arrived at Southampton docks on Friday 4 June, having been delayed by COVID-19 and then by the grounding of the container ship Ever Given in the Suez Canal earlier in 2021. The initial bus had been delivered ahead of those examples. The Big Lemon trialled a demonstrator in 2020. Harris debuted the Steed in 2019.
Each bus has 174kW/h of stored energy in six battery packs. They seat 26 and have space for a further 22 standing passengers. The operator expects a maximum range of 165 miles. The Chinese-made Steeds join an existing fleet of 12 battery-electric buses with The Big Lemon, including one Ford Transit minibus.
Says The Big Lemon Founder and Chief Executive Tom Druitt: “We are very excited to be imminently launching four brand-new electric buses as part of our transition to a fully electric fleet, ensuring that all our services can be operated by zero-emission vehicles.”
The four Higer Steed buses will be launched at the inaugural London to Brighton Electric Vehicle Rally on 18 July, which The Big Lemon will stage with sponsorship from EDF.