LibertyBus’s director, Kevin Hart, said that the Higer Steed – a single-decker which was recently tested in Guernsey – was being assessed ‘for a few days’ to assess its suitability for Jersey’s roads.
He said: ‘We are testing it for manoeuvrability and range, to establish whether it could be a viable option for future use. We have to make sure that it is right [for us] and what routes it would take – there are a lot of questions we need to ask before we introduce it on our roads.’
He added that a single bus cost in the region of £250,000, and that there was no set date as to when a decision would be reached on its use.
This is not the first time the company has trialled an electric bus. In 2019, a double decker was brought over on a trial basis – but broke down on a number of occasions. Mr Hart said it was also unable to operate at a sufficient range due to battery life issues.
When asked why the Higer Steed was being looked at, he said: ‘It is new to the market, and there has been nothing of the right size available until now.’
Infrastructure Minister Kevin Lewis said he had been on the bus earlier this week, and added: ‘It’s very nice and very comfortable – fingers crossed it is the one. Obviously it does have to meet certain specifications and conform to our narrow roads. Extremely narrow buses are hard to come by – but it is something we are aware of, and LibertyBus is an extremely professional company.’