ADL forges ahead with hybrid strategy as 26 Enviro400H go into service in Oxford
15 July 2010
Summary: As a fleet of electric-hybrid buses took to the streets of historic Oxford, as part of the UK's biggest single investment in green bus technology, the man behind their creation forecast that Britain...
As a fleet of electric-hybrid buses took to the streets of historic Oxford – as part of the UK’s biggest single investment in green bus technology – the man behind their creation forecast that Britain has the potential to lead the world with low emission buses that meet the challenge of climate change head-on.
Colin Robertson, CEO of Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) said that early hybrid vehicles produced by his company had now been running in London operations for 20 months, covering almost 600,000 miles.
“On average, they have consistently recorded fuel and CO2 reductions of around 35% and demonstrated their reliability by being available for service virtually 100% of the time. “In my view, we are now well beyond the pioneering stage with electric-hybrids and can lead the world with a transport solution that tackles clean air issues head-on. I believe electric-hybrid buses represent the technology of the foreseeable future. We will continue to invest in further hybrid development programmes and I am confident these will ultimately deliver 50% fuel and CO2 reductions,” said Mr. Robertson.
He added: “As far as ADL is concerned we will certainly not be taking our foot off the accelerator. We have always said that it is our intention to globalise our electric-hybrid technology and to achieve this we are now embarking on a further multi-million, new product investment programme. By globalising our hybrid product we can take a big step towards volume sales and given time this will drive down the sticker price. “This remains our objective and as a next step we will launch a three-door, left-hand-drive, flat floor, 18 tonne single deck hybrid product for global markets later this year. Continental Europe is our initial target and we have already had very encouraging signs. This will be followed by partnership arrangements taking us into export territories wider afield and, again, we already have advanced discussions progressing positively on a number of fronts.”
Mr. Robertson emphasised that ADL will continue to offer a full range of electric-hybrid options, including midi, single deck and double deck variants – and he confirmed continuation of ADL’s joint development partnership with BAE Systems. He commented: “This has worked superbly well from the word ‘go’. Their expertise in this field, coupled with our knowledge of systems integration in the bus sector has created a powerful partnership. Together, we have taken the technology to a new level and, importantly, we can provide an unrivalled aftermarket package to support hybrid customers
“All of our customer-facing staff have received specialist training in electric-hybrid technology, while our ‘blue horizon’ engineering teams are working hand-in-glove with BAE’s dedicated hybrid specialists. BAE’s decision to create a world-leading centre of excellence for hybrid propulsion systems at Rochester, in Kent, has proved to be a master stroke.”
The introduction of 26 ADL Enviro400H double decks into service in Oxford represents the first phase of a £16 million investment by Stagecoach in a total of 56 hybrid double decks. A further 30 will be launched in Manchester later this year. All 56 vehicles are ADL electric-hybrids and are part-funded by the government’s Green Bus Fund, which has been introduced to kick-start the purchase of low emission hybrid and electric buses. ADL won the lion’s share of the initial Green Bus Fund and now has
around 120 electric-hybrids in the production pipeline.