Rotala subsidiary Diamond Bus has begun to introduce its first zero-emission vehicles to the West Midlands as part of a five-bus battery-electric retrofit project of existing diesel examples in partnership with electric drive systems specialist Magtec.
The first of those vehicles has entered service on routes in the Black Country. Magtec fits a motor and a 200kW/h battery pack to each bus. Rotala says that the retrofit and refurbishment of an existing bus minimises the wider environmental impact of the shift to zero-emission “without the need to dispose of existing service-ready vehicles.”
Diamond Bus will monitor the performance of the five buses to evaluate the potential to introduce more battery-electric vehicles into its fleet in the future.
“We have already invested over £9m in more than 75 new Euro VI low-emission certified buses since 2018. However, the latest vehicles are fully electrically powered and produce no carbon emissions or exhaust fumes from the tailpipe, which means that they go even further to improving air quality in our local towns and cities,” says a spokesperson.
Among the vehicles to be retrofitted is at least one MAN 12.240 with a Plaxton Centro body. It carries a suitably altered Diamond Bus livery with green additions.