From The Argus –
Bosses have given the green light for a plan to pull the petrol and run their first trial of electric buses.
Brighton and Hove Bus and Coach Company has announced the emissions free vehicle will begin running along the city’s streets from this week.
It is the latest move designed to reduce air pollution in the city – which exceeds EU safe standards along major bus routes in Lewes Road and North Street as well as Rottingdean High Street.
The company is following in the footsteps of The Big Lemon company who are working to convert all their cooking oil fuelled vehicles into electric buses having received funding to create a solar powered recharging point at their depot.
Previously plans for electric buses had been on hold because of concerns over whether electric vehicles would be able to cope with the city’s steep hills.
Under the trial, a small single-deck electric bus known as a Streetair is being trialled this week on the number 50 bus route which runs between the University of Sussex and Brighton Railway Station.
The trial is designed to explore the right fuel options for the city in the short, medium and long term and will run on the city’s streets for a couple of months.
The electric bus, which has come from Northern Irish-based bus manufacturer Wrightbus, will be charged overnight and feature messages informing passengers and residents about the trial.
Passengers will also be able to pick up the environmentally friendly bus at Churchill Square, the Old Steine, Theatre Royal, Royal Pavilion, Jubilee Library, Brighton Museum, Brighton Pier and the Sea Life Centre.
Last year the company, which was founded in 1935, phased out all of its remaining 100 Euro 3 emission standard vehicles and has spent millions on the highest-standard Euro 6 buses while converting other vehicles to lower-emission technology.
Managing Director Martin Harris said: “We are excited to start this electric bus trial so we can see how the vehicle copes with the city’s topography and high passenger volumes.
“We foresee that ‘electric’ will form part of a multi-pronged strategy for a sustainable transport system for the future, and are currently exploring a number of fuel options for the short, medium and long term.”