Representatives from Hull City Council attended the test drive of an all-electric bus as part of the authority’s efforts to promote sustainable transport in the city.
Kerry Ryan, Strategic Transport Manager at Hull City Council, and Councillor Mark Ieronimo, Portfolio Holder for Transportation, Roads, and Highways, visited East Yorkshire Buses on Friday 28 July to test drive the Volvo BZL Electric demonstrator- the first-ever battery-powered electric bus.
The 100 per cent electric bus, trialled by the East Yorkshire bus operator, featured a five-battery configuration, which was recharged overnight at the depot on Anlaby Road using a portable charger provided by Volvo.
Following the test drive, Cllr Ieronimo said: “We were very impressed by the performance and benefits of the electric bus. It is quiet, smooth, comfortable and eco-friendly.
“We are committed to improving air quality and reducing carbon emissions in Hull. Electric buses are a great way to achieve our long-term goals, as they can reduce pollution, noise, and greenhouse gases.”
Kerry Ryan added: “I had never been on an electric bus until the Volvo BZL Electric. The difference is astonishing, not only the sound but also the smoothness of the ride.
“We all came away very impressed, and it’s a good experience for us if an opportunity was to present itself in the future, particularly when it comes to discussing how we could support our commercial operators with infrastructure.”
East Yorkshire Buses, which operates a predominantly Volvo fleet, was given the opportunity to trial the electric single-decker bus for three weeks.
The futuristic vehicle was successfully tested on the 66 service between Hull and Hessle, clocking up more than 172 kilometres a day.
Andy Benstead, Head of Engineering at East Yorkshire Buses, said: “Hull’s not really in touch with the electric commercial vehicle trend yet. This bus was the first to hit service, and for me it was quite a big thing, experiencing and understanding this new technology and what it can do.
“Considering how complex the system is, the simplicity of it is fantastic. It’s very easy to operate and delivers an exceptionally smooth and quiet ride, the regenerative braking is especially clever.
“We’ve had really positive feedback from our drivers, and it’s created a buzz in Hull – with passengers asking drivers whether it was going to be the same bus that would be turning up every day!
“We already have a very close working relationship with Volvo, so the great support we’ve received during the trial was no surprise. We would really like to see this technology in our area in the future.”
The test drive was part of the council’s strategy to promote sustainable transport in Hull, which also includes improving the cycle infrastructure and public transport services.
The council aims to become carbon neutral by 2030.