Zeelo has named four of the first six operator partners that will trial a branded battery-electric Yutong TCe12 coach as part of the supplier’s zero-emission ‘taster’ programme.
They are Hearn’s Coaches of Harrow, Landflight Travel Services based in Solihull, Marret’s Chariots of North Walsham and Doncaster business Wilfreda Beehive. The arrangement involves Zeelo along with vehicle supplier Pelican Bus and Coach and Zenobe, which will provide portable charging for the trials.
In addition to the six confirmed coach operators that will partake in the tasters, Zeelo says that it is in discussion with additional businesses that wish to participate. “We will [thus] be considering whether we can potentially extend the EV trial for a longer period to showcase the ease of use to more partners in our network of close to 200 operators,” a spokesperson says.
Zeelo’s objective is to have a fully zero-emission fleet in the UK by 2030. It expects that the proportion of those vehicles will reach 15% by the end of 2023.
Commenting on Landflight Travel Services’ participation in the battery-electric coach ‘taster’ programme, Director Danny Matthews says: “We are pleased to be working with Zeelo as part of this evaluation trial.
“Our drivers have all been eager to get behind the wheel and continue to be impressed with the driveability and quietness of the TCe12. Importantly, passenger reaction has also been very positive. While the long-distance box may not yet be ticked, our glimpse into the emission-free future has certainly given us food for thought.”
Zeelo notes that provision of ‘plug and play’ charging by Zenobe as part of battery-electric coach adoption, and the target of Zeelo passenger trip duration as far as possible never exceeding that of the same journey by car, act as mitigatory points for worries about range when such vehicles are used on its services.