The £2.25 million project being unveiled today is integral to the vision of The Harrogate Bus Company, owned by Transdev Blazefield, to significantly reduce town centre emissions and in conjunction with Harrogate Borough Council, move towards an overall low emission strategy for the area.
When the vehicles enter service in 2018, the project will be the first of its kind in the UK introducing full electric vehicles using ‘opportunity charging’ via the European OPPCharge agreement and infrastructure, which can also be used by various vehicle types.
Opportunity charging takes place via a specialist overhead mast, which connects to the bus via a pantograph. Charging is fully automated and takes between three and six minutes to complete.
Phil Owen, Commercial Sales Director for Volvo Bus UK & Ireland, said: “The arrival of the 7900E is extremely exciting not only for Volvo Bus and Transdev Blazefield, but also for the people and this beautiful spa town of Harrogate, which is now set to lead the way with the adoption of opportunity-charged full electric vehicles in the UK.
“This particular concept vehicle has been fully operational on Line 55 in Gothenburg since 2015, so the technology and associated infrastructure are already very well tried and tested. In addition to it being completely emission free, the bus is also extremely quiet, which will make a big difference to noise levels as well as air quality for residents and passengers alike in Harrogate town centre.”
Nick Page, Managing Director for Volvo Bus UK & Ireland, added: “Volvo Bus has been at the forefront of environmentally considerate and sustainable technology development during the last 50 years and our latest range of Electromobility vehicles are setting a standard in Europe not only in terms of emissions, but also for their efficiency and flexibility in operation.
“Following our showcasing of the 7900E today, we are very much looking forward to seeing eight vehicles in The Harrogate Bus Company’s livery taking to the streets in 2018, as we complete the planning and implementation phases of this project together with Transdev Blazefield.”
Alex Hornby, CEO of The Harrogate Bus Company, said: “This is about making Harrogate a UK leader in clean, green public transport. When we introduce our new electric buses next year, it’ll be the first time that this ‘next generation’ power technology will be in use anywhere in the UK.
“We’re delighted to welcome a similar bus here to Harrogate, to show how these groundbreaking new vehicles will set the pace for public transport in Britain.
“We’ve worked closely with Volvo on the specification for these new buses and each vehicle will receive power from one of the overhead masts, enabling completely emission-free journeys from start to finish. We’re very proud to be bringing this revolutionary technology to Harrogate.”
The new electric bus project is also being welcomed by Transport Minister and Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones, who said: “Harrogate is set to become a low emission bus town. Transdev Blazefield has shown huge ambition and the technology for this is a first for the UK.
“There were many bids from large organisations for this funding, and it is a testament to the powerful case put forward by Transdev Blazefield, and supported by Harrogate Borough Council, that we have won £2.25 million of that money to make this electric vision for transport in our town a reality.”
3 February 2017
Caption for image:
Transdev Blazefield 7900E 1 – (L-R) Daniel Barwick – Fleet Sales Manager, Volvo Bus UK & Ireland, Ulf Magnusson – SVP Business Region Europe, Volvo Bus Corporation, Saskia Legate, Contracts & Business Solutions Manager, Volvo Bus UK & Ireland, Gordon Irvine – Engineering Director, Transdev Blazefield, Alex Hornby – CEO, Transdev Blazefield, Phil Owen - Commercial Sales Director for Volvo Bus UK & Ireland.