Arrival and First Bus announce UK trials

EV firm Arrival has announced UK trials of its zero-emission bus with First Bus, one of the UK’s largest transport operators.

The trials, which will see Arrival buses navigating existing First Bus routes in the UK, will begin this autumn.

The new partnership comes seven months after First Bus announced their commitment to purchase no diesel buses after 2022 and to operate a fully zero- emission fleet by 2035. First Bus already has electric buses in Leeds, Glasgow, York and a 99 strong fleet of biomethane buses in Bristol. Last month, the company also introduced the world’s first hydrogen powered double decker fleet in Aberdeen.

Arrival, which unveiled its electric bus in June 2020, said the initial trial vehicle configurations will be a combination of familiar requirements and new features, which will be activated throughout the trial, using Arrival’s smart connected hardware and end-to-end fleet management solutions.

The single-deck Arrival Bus features a single front door with a passenger seating capacity of 36 across the entire flat floor, allowing greater accessibility, as well as more usable standing space and ability for passengers to travel more comfortably. It is equipped with up to 310.8 kWh of energy storage capacity with the option of both an AC and DC charge.

The Arrival Bus has been developed to not only have common suspension front and rear, but common wheels and tyres – estimating the bus to be up to 40% lighter than other battery-electric buses, the company claimed.

Janette Bell, managing director of First Bus said: “We’re proud to be the first operator in the UK to trial Arrival’s electric buses and look forward to working together to accelerate the transition to zero emissions in our sector. Their ground-breaking technology is also expected to allow for improved customer service, and we’re looking forward to seeing how customers react to the new buses when they’re trialled later this year.”

Avinash Rugoobur, president of Arrival, said: “Cities around the world are pledging their commitment to a zero- emission transportation future and Arrival is providing them with the ideal product to help them achieve that in the Arrival Bus.

“We are working in partnership with operators and cities globally to support improvements to public transportation networks whilst creating vehicles that can be tailored to local needs.”

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