Medway has launched its first electric bus trial in a bid to find ways to tackle concerns around climate change and to advocate smart technology.
The trial – jointly organised by Medway Council, bus provider BYD and bus operator ASD Coaches -is taking place between Thursday, 17 and Tuesday, 22 October. The 31-seater e-bus is being used on the 170 service between Medway Valley Park and Chatham Waterfront Bus Station.
In April 2019, Medway’s Full Council declared a climate change emergency and plans to support this work are underway.
The zero-emission bus can be fully charged in less than four hours, at the operator’s Rochester depot, and this powers the vehicle for up to 18 hours during the day. Customers using the e-bus can also enjoy free Wi-Fi and charging points on board.
Following the trial, the council will review its success, the viability of an e-bus in Medway and look into what infrastructure Medway would need should bus providers and operators also share an interest in introducing electric buses across Medway in future years.
Finding ways for Medway to become more environmentally friendly
Cllr Howard Doe, Deputy Leader of Medway Council and leading on Medway’s Climate Change agenda, said: “The trial of the electric bus is just the start of our work to find ways for Medway to become more environmentally friendly. We are committed to working with companies, partner agencies and the community to research and provide advice on small steps and sustainable changes which could be made to benefit future generations.”
Hardip Dosanjh, of ASD Coaches, said: “We are excited to be a part of the big change in Medway. This is a positive shift in public transport and demonstrates our commitment to the future of a cleaner environment in and around Medway.”
Easy and efficient operation
Frank Thorpe, Managing Director of BYD UK, said: “We are delighted to have been able to make available our latest 10.8m BYD ADL Enviro 200 bus for demonstration in Medway. The BYD ADL partnership is the market leader in electric buses in the UK (and Europe) and we supply not only the advanced bus itself but assist with the necessary infrastructure and charging facilities to ensure easy and efficient operation.”