Interest in the purchase of zero-emission coaches has seen a marked increase in 2022, sole supplier of the vehicle type Pelican Bus and Coach had revealed.
The dealership, with the battery-electric Yutong TCe12 in its coach range, has several customer orders for the model in hand for delivery over coming months. It also has 10 TCe12s that are due to arrive as stock by the end of 2022. Managing Director Richard Crump believes that most, if not all, of those coaches will be accounted for ahead of them landing here.
Mr Crump says that operators in and around larger cities currently dominate purchases of, and enquiries for, the TCe12. Several examples are on order for companies based in and surrounding London, while a potential debut in Manchester is in hand. Turners of Bristol also has a TCe12, and in Scotland, Edinburgh-based Ember has more due.
However, he adds that availability of sufficiently powerful mobile DC chargers that can run from a 415v, 63A three-phase supply and the inclusion of zero-emission coaches in scope of the second phase of the Scottish Zero Emission Bus challenge fund (ScotZEB2) are both expected by Pelican to play a role in growing the TCe12’s appeal beyond city region operators.
Two chargers that use a three-phase supply are offered by Pelican. One is rated at 20kW, but Mr Crump says that a 42kW alternative has already proved its worth. A TCe12 recently delivered to Heathrow operator AirSym was supplied with the latter. It can replenish the coach’s 281kW/h of battery storage in around six hours when residual charge is factored in.
“The 42kW charger is a cost-effective way into the zero-emission coach sphere. Our engagement with the industry shows that most operators have a three-phase supply on site, and it can allow them to dip a toe in the water with battery-electric. We have certainly seen a shift in the breakdown of enquiries we are receiving for coaches to include more zero-emission interest as 2022 has progressed.”
For ScotZEB2, Mr Crump adds that Pelican is “confident” the scheme will generate further interest in zero-emission coaches among operators in Scotland. To that end, Pelican will soon offer a service where it works with potential customers to prepare a ScotZEB2 bid based on purchase of the TCe12. A demonstrator will also be taken to Scotland later in 2022.