AN ELECTRIC bus is being trialled as part of Oxford’s park-and-service.

The Oxford Bus Company is conducting the trial as part as part of its continued research into green technology.

A single decker electric bus will be used in service for two weeks on the park-and ride services and will be charged at the Cowley depot.

It will also be used to transport delegates to the two-day Oxford EV Summit, on Wednesday and Thursday next week, which brings together business leaders and stakeholders working on electric vehicles to explore how the technology is advanced.

Oxford Mail:

The electric bus, made by Chinese company BYD, has a range of 130 to 150 miles when fully charged and uses CCTV cameras for wing-mirrors to provide improved visibility.

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The two-week trial, which started on Monday, follows a similar exercise the company conducted last year with a single decker Yutong bus.

At the end of next month Oxford City Sightseeing, owned by Oxford Bus Company, will begin to introduce fully electric vehicles into its fleet, following government funding.

Managing director Phil Southall said: “Our latest trial provides us with another opportunity to better understand the technology and what the current standard is.

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"It will also enable us to better inform debate at a local level as we strive in partnership with key stakeholders to deliver a greener future for Oxford.

Oxford Mail:

“We have always been committed to being at the forefront of leading the UK on environmental technology innovation and over half of our buses are powered by hybrid technology. We are also looking forward to introducing electric buses to our Oxford City Sightseeing.”

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Under Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council proposals the city centre could become the world’s first Zero Emission Zone which would see all polluting vehicles phased out from 2020.

As vehicle technology develops it is proposed the Zero Emission Zone will extend to cover all non-electric vehicles across the city centre by 2035.

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Mr Southall added: “The proposals for the Zero Emission Zone are great in principle, if the technology, battery capacity and vehicle range is ready for vehicles to sufficiently switch to electric in two years. The bus we have on trial can’t do a full day in service as it only has a range of around 150 miles.”

Oxford Mail:

Oxford Bus Company is committed to pioneering green transport nationally and internationally.

The city has had a Low Emission Zone since 2014 and Oxford Bus Company was one of the first in the world to invest in diesel-electric hybrid buses to reduce emissions.

The company is upgrading buses from Low Emission ‘Euro V’, to Ultra Low Emission ‘Euro VI’ standard, to reduce the levels of harmful exhaust emissions by as much as 90 per cent.