The first in-service trials of the battery-electric Mercedes-Benz eCitaro have been completed by The Harrogate Bus Company.
The week-long trials took place on route 1, which links Harrogate and Knaresborough. They mark the third stage in a series of trials of similar vehicles carried out by the Transdev subsidiary. That began with an Alexander Dennis BYD Enviro200EV in October 2020 and was followed by a Yutong E10 in February.
“This exciting trial of the Mercedes-Benz eCitaro marks the first time this new design has been tested in service in the UK, reflecting our ambition to deliver a zero-emission, high-quality product for our customers across Harrogate and beyond,” says Transdev CEO Alex Hornby. “We’ve invited our customers who experienced this new bus in service with us to let us know what they think of it – we’ve already had a positive reaction and we’re keen to hear more, as our customers’ views are vitally important to us.
“We hope that alongside North Yorkshire County Council’s bid for government support, our own multi-million-pound investment will turn our vision of a completely zero-emission bus network powered by a fully electric bus fleet into reality.”
The bus was brought in days after the government invited North Yorkshire County Council to bid for £8m under the Zero Emission Bus Regional Area scheme to finance the operator’s fleet transition to zero-emission power.
If successful, the local authority is set to work with Transdev to introduce 39 zero-emission buses (and associated charging infrastructure) to Harrogate over the next three years. It is estimated it will cost £20m, with £11.5m made up by Transdev.