As part of a £13 million investment by Stagecoach in its UK fleet, the group’s East Scotland subsidiary has taken delivery of five new Plaxton Panorama double deck coaches from Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) that have been fitted with solar panel systems by the multi-award-winning UK company, TRAILAR.
It is the first use of the innovative product by a UK coach operator.
The 3mm solar panels provide clean solar energy to power all on-board electrical equipment, reducing the vehicles’ requirement to create electrical energy via the burning of diesel.
The technology will aim to save up to 1,500 litres of fuel and over 4 tonnes of CO2 per coach. Across the 5 vehicles fitted, their combined annual saving of up to 7,500 litres of fuel and 20 tonnes of CO2, which would require 331 trees being planted and grown for 10 years to offset this level of carbon emissions.
The Plaxton Panorama coaches have been built by ADL in Scarborough on Volvo B11RLE chassis. They feature the latest in passenger comfort with wireless and USB charging, extra leg room and reclining seats, as well as easier boarding for wheelchair users.
TRAILAR’s Head of Marketing, Matthew Summers, said: “We’re pleased to see these new coaches finally moving into operation, as we expand our implementations within the UKI operators. Public transport has a huge opportunity to decarbonise its fleets with our technology, whilst being commercially beneficial to the operations. We look forward to seeing the savings that this technology can provide for Stagecoach and Citylink, even in the Scottish climate.”
Mark Ballam, Coach Commercial Manager at ADL, said: “With TRAILAR’s innovative solar panel systems, these new coaches for our long-standing partners Stagecoach and Scottish Citylink further boost the environmental credentials of coach travel. This order has also been great for UK manufacturing as Plaxton continues over a century of British coachbuilding tradition at our factory in Scarborough.”
Stagecoach continues to lead the deployment of cleaner technologies, including electric, hybrid electric and hydrogen-fuelled buses. It has investment more than 7,000 in new greener vehicles in the past decade, more than any other operator in the UK.