Smart bus platform Zeelo and electric fleet specialist Zenobe are working together to enable Zeelo’s network of operator partners to trial battery-electric vehicles, including the use of temporary charging infrastructure.
The two businesses say that the approach will help to “drive an affordable and accessible transition” of private coach and bus transport towards battery-electric. The trial vehicles and infrastructure involved will be owned by Zenobe and operators that use them will be charged a monthly fee.
They hope that the ‘taster’ approach, along with the offer of electrification solutions by Zenobe, will permit zero-emission uptake among Zeelo’s 200 operator partners to “happen in an environmentally and financially sustainable approach” and mitigate the high upfront costs of those vehicles and associated infrastructure.
Zeelo and Zenobe add that in partnership, they will work to identify opportunities for large-scale fleet electrification. The collaboration between the two suppliers has already seen them support London operator AirSym in its introduction of a Yutong TCe12 battery-electric coach onto a private home-to-school service, and before that, a previous TCe12 for use shuttling McLaren Automotive staff and at Heathrow airport.
Speaking about the partnership, Zeelo CEO Sam Ryan says the supplier has an “ambitious vision” to both switch over eight million journeys per yet to battery-electric within the next three to five years, and to support its operator partners to be able to invest in the necessary vehicles.
“Through our partnership with Zenobe we can help to kick-start a national transition out of a reliance on diesel amid the fuel crisis. That doesn’t just mean cutting people a deal, but actually ensuring that battery-electric buses feel comfortable and safe to drive, and easy to charge,” continues Mr Ryan.
Zenobe already supports 580 battery-electric vehicles globally. It plans to grow that number to 3,000 by 2025. “With this collaboration, we are allowing these operators to trial the technology,” says Co-Founder Steven Meersman.
“Electrification of both coach and bus will play a pivotal role in transport decarbonisation and can help Zeelo and its customers to achieve their zero-emission commitments. We hope that together, we can build confidence and appetite for a permanent solution.
“To be a truly sustainable working relationship, this needs to deliver environmental and financial gains for Zeelo and its partners while providing cleaner, greener transport for students and commuters.”