UK: Edinburgh bus operator Lothian Buses will put its first electric buses into service on October 1. The six buses will operate on the Service 1 route, which runs through Edinburgh’s central air quality management area.

Lothian Buses ordered six Street Air buses from Wrightbus for £2·7m. These are fitted with 300 kWh batteries that will be charged overnight at the Annandale Street garage; it would take 3 to 4 h to receive fully charge the batteries.

The buses have capacity for 70 passengers and are equipped with wi-fi, USB charging points, LED lighting and regenerative braking that feeds braking energy back into the batteries.

‘Electric Bus technology is here and we need to embrace it and ensure that it is part of our future fleet and business planning strategies, it absolutely has a place alongside traditional diesel and hybrid technologies’, said Lothian Buses Managing Director Richard Hall.

The operator plans to introduce five more electric buses on Service 1 next year, which would enable it to run a fully electric service on that route. This forms part of Lothian Buses’ goal to reduce its emissions footprint by 42% by 2020.