Newport Transport has taken delivery of its first zero-emission electric bus, which will go into service around the City of Newport in late August.

This will be the very first permanent zero emission electric bus to operate in Wales.

Previously, Newport Bus had tested the Yutong E12 battery-electric bus, and subsequently placed an order for 15 examples, with seven arriving in February 2020 and with a further seven in April 2020.

The fifteen zero-emission electric vehicles supplied by Pelican Engineering/Yutong will represent 19% of the fleet requirement of Newport Bus.

This first example was previously a demonstrator, which now joins the fleet after repainting and an internal retrim.

Thanks to an innovative partnership with the bus manufacturers Pelican Engineering / Yutong and Zenobe Energy, an independent owner and operator of battery storage systems, Newport Transport was able to speed up the introduction of new fully electric buses to its fleet.

Working in partnership with Pelican Engineering and Zenobe Energy was key to bringing this project from conception to fully operational.

Newport Transport is receiving £1.342m from the Ultra-Low Emission Bus (ULEB) Scheme.

The choice of vehicle was the result of many months of testing on the streets of Newport and positive reviews from passengers.

The Yutong E12 received over 90% passenger satisfaction when tested in November 2018. With separate air-conditioning for the driver and the passengers and no engine vibration or noise, passengers enjoy a quiet and smooth travel experience.

Steven Meersman, co-founder of Zenobe Energy, says: “We’re thrilled to be working with both Newport Transport and Yutong, in the UK’s first end-to-end partnership of its type.

“Newport Transport is paving the way for the rest of Wales, by being the first to roll out fully electric zero emission buses.

“Not only will the vehicles be more efficient, lowering costs for Newport Transport in the long-term, but they’ll also support the UK wide ambition to be carbon neutral by 2050.

“With Zenobe’s financing and infrastructure an option now for companies wishing to go electric with their transport fleets, we hope others will see how well this partnership model works – where Zenobe can both supply the batteries on the vehicle and the supporting infrastructure avoiding grid upgrades.”

The Yutong E12 seats up to 39 passengers and has an operating range of up to 200 miles (330km).

The Yutong E12 will be the manufacturer’s first 12-metre electric bus operating in the UK. The driver and passenger experience is second to none, with separate air-conditioning for the driver and the passengers and no engine vibration or noise. The passenger seating is also enhanced with LED lighting and separate USB charging points.

“As Newport Transport already uses 214 solar panels, a significant proportion of the energy used to charge the buses will be from a renewable source,” says Scott Pearson Managing Director of Newport Transport.

“This is the start of a very exciting journey for the company as it moves into providing the people of Newport with an environmentally clean option for travel in and around the City.

“We recognise that in this ever-changing world, sustainable renewable energy is essential, and this must include public transport.”