Pelican Bus and Coach will introduce a long-anticipated Yutong battery-electric double-decker bus to the UK in 2023, the dealership has confirmed.
A seed right-hand drive, 10.9m example has been constructed and is currently under test in China to simulate one million kilometres’ utilisation. That bus will be exclusively used for development purposes and it will not come to the UK, but once required testing markers are satisfied, Yutong will build a single-door demonstrator for Pelican.
While the product will be new in the UK, Head of Yutong Sales Ian Downie notes that Yutong has already placed battery-electric double-deckers into service in China and in right-hand drive, air-conditioned, three-axle form in Singapore. Learnings from those have influenced development of the UK vehicle. A rendering has been created indicating what the model will look like. It shares clear styling cues with the Singapore buses.
The UK double-decker will share the driveline of the Yutong E10 and E12 single-deckers that are already established in here, although it will come with 385kW/h of battery capacity. It will also have the same cab area.
Testing of the E12 by Zemo Partnership shows average energy consumption of slightly over 0.8kW/h per km. While Mr Downie says that average usage for the double-decker is expected to be slightly more owing to a larger frontal area and a greater saloon volume to heat or cool, “it will not be much more.”
The double-decker will allow optional specification of rapid charging provision via twin DC CCS2 connectors, each providing either 120kW or 150kW. Mr Downie adds that a maximum passenger capacity of 80 will be possible, with 68 seated. The body will be made of aluminium to minimise weight; the E10 and E12 are entirely steel.
Deliveries of the first customer double-deckers will be possible in 2023, he continues. The bus will have lithium iron phosphate batteries from CATL, which Mr Downie claims will give extended durability and energy density when compared to other chemistries.
Yutong Electrical Safety Standard (YESS) equipment will also be fitted to the battery-electric double-decker. That system includes a variety of precautions to protect the batteries against damage or fire. Mr Downie disclosed how YESS works during 2021.