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No spark for electric bus yet, says operator

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ELECTRIC bus technology is not yet suitable for the Island, the head of LibertyBus has said after a vehicle brought over on trial broke down several times.

Picture: ROB CURRIE. (26509037)

Kevin Hart said that he still hoped to introduce electric vehicles in the future, but that manufacturers needed more time to improve their offering.

However, he added that he had received a lot of positive feedback from drivers and passengers about the bus being trialled, with users saying that it produced far less vibration and noise compared to its diesel-fuelled counterparts.

‘I think there is still lots of development going on with electric vehicles at the moment and we would really like to go electric, but I do not think they would be able to cope with the range at the moment,’ he said.

‘That bus is two years old and uses old technology; we can probably get about 100 miles out of that. With the new technology, you can probably get about 200 miles out of it in London and 140 here. There is still a bit to do with technology but hopefully we can progress and go that way in the future.’

During the trial the electric bus which, according to its destination screen travelled to ‘St Helier Airport’, suffered a number of breakdowns.

However, Mr Hart said that the technical issues had been resolved and the trial would continue for around another week.

‘The bus has been off the road for a while but the trial is still ongoing. We will probably see it leave the Island within a week or so and I should be having a meeting with the manufacturer this month about the best way to move forward,’ he said.

‘The batteries have to have a cooling system and if it they get too hot, the whole vehicle shuts down. We eventually pinpointed the issue to the cooling system. It has now been resolved, the bus is back on the road and has had no other issues.’

Ed Taylor

By Ed Taylor
Journalist

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