A new range of wirelessly-charged electric buses are set to hit the roads in Milton Keynes next summer.
Under an agreement signed yesterday, diesel buses on the number seven route will be replaced with eight electric ones. This is expected to cut around 500 tonnes of carbon emissions every year and help save between £12,000-£15,000.
Although the level of battery charge in electric buses is usually limited, the new vehicles will be able to recharge their batteries wirelessly through the day. This will be done through coils buried in the road when drivers take 10-minute breaks at the end of a route, which will help recharge around two-thirds of the energy used by the bus routes.
John Miles, who initiated the trial from Arup, which is the company managing the project said: “The Milton Keynes buses will be able to cover a heavily used urban route because they are able to charge for 10 minutes at the beginning and end of each cycle without interrupting the timetable. This means that for the first time, an electric bus will effectively be able to do everything a diesel bus can do, which is a significant step forwards to a cleaner, quieter, public transport system.”
The route currently transports around 775,000 passengers a year over a total of 450,000 miles. Bus operator Arriva (pictured), manufacturer Wrightbus Limited and Chargemaster are some of the firms involved in the trial.