Home > Auto > News > Ashok Leyland’s Optare delivers first of its electric double decker buses in UK

Optare, one of the UK’s largest bus manufacturers whose Parent company is Ashok Leyland and part of the UK based Hindjua Group, has announced delivery of the first of 21 electric double decker buses, called the Metrodecker EV. These buses will enter service this year in the City of York.

This follows the successful launch of the EV Double Decker in London with Metroline, this Metrodecker is a part of the 107 Metrodecker EV order Optare has received since the product was launched 18 months ago.

Optare worked with First York and the City of York Council since 2014 when it introduced the battery electric Versa running on a Park and Ride service. With a fleet of 21 such electric double decker buses, it is going to be the biggest zero emission park and ride fleet in the UK. Later it plans to expand the fleet to 33 buses.

Vipin Sondhi, MD and CEO at Ashok Leyland, said, “We are proud of the progress Optare has been making in developing sustainable solutions for public transport. Optare has the know-how, technology and experience to help cities with reducing emissions from buses. The total Metrodecker order book is 107, and as increased adoption of EV tech happens, Optare will certainly lead this transformation. Optare continues to be a key piece in our overall strategy to be amongst the Top 10 CV makers globally."

The Metrodecker EVs are manufactured by Optare in Yorkshire, England. When put in service, these electric buses will replace the diesel buses and reduce carbon footprint. The company claims the bus can save one kg of carbon emission for every one kilometre it travels.

The first generation of the Metrodecker EV had a winter range of 120 miles. With rapid changes in electric drive technology, by 2018 Optare were able to offer the same bus at the same price with a 160-mile range. The bus can sit 98 passengers which will remain limited due to social distancing norms for the time being.

This bus has lots of unique features which were created alongside the team at First York. It comes with audio visual next stop technology, USB charging points and Wi-Fi connectivity. The buses carry a new blue-based brand for the York park-and-ride network.

Marc Bichtemann, Managing Director of First York, said, "We’re proud to be the operator of the biggest zero emission park and ride fleet in the country as we continue to partner with City of York Council to improve air quality in York."

The Metrodecker EVs are the first new vehicles that have entered service with First UK Bus since it announced its commitment to achieve an entirely zero-emission fleet by 2035. These are the first new vehicles to be introduced by First UK Bus anywhere in the country since the company announced on July 8 its commitment to achieve a zero carbon fleet by 2035.