Optare celebrated the launch of the Metrodecker EV prototype at an unveiling ceremony at Euro Bus Expo 2016 at the NEC in Birmingham. The Metrodecker EV will go into service in central London with Go-Ahead London in early 2017 to prove the concept and provide operational feedback to aid further development. The 10.5m, lightweight, fully electric, double deck has a passenger capacity of 96 and a forecast range of between 105 and 145 miles on a single charge. Optare is working on further developments to the vehicle which will increase the range in production vehicles to over 150 miles.
Robert Drewery, Commercial Director at Optare, said, “As the leaders in efficient, electric bus technology a fully electric double deck was the next logical step for Optare. The Metrodecker EV opens the ultra-low emission double deck market to Optare. Across all trials we have conducted on the Euro 6 diesel version of the Metrodecker, the vehicle is consistently delivering class leading economy. We are expecting an equally efficient performance from the Metrodecker EV. We will be monitoring its performance closely in the capital and we look forward to the feedback from Go-Ahead London.”
Go-Ahead London provide nearly a quarter of London's buses with vehicles travelling 80 million miles annually on over 199 day, night and school routes.
Richard Harrington, Engineering Director for Go-Ahead London, commented: “Go-Ahead are committed to taking care of our customers changing needs, now and in the future. We are delighted to be able to put the Metrodecker electric bus through its paces in London. We will be assessing performance and canvassing driver & passenger feedback on this exciting development from Optare.”
The Metrodecker, powered by a Magtec driveline consisting of maintenance free lithium iron magnesium phosphate batteries is Optare’s newest addition to its vehicle portfolio. The low floor double deck has a fully integral frame, boasts best in class kerb weight and capacity. The vehicle will initially be available in the 10.5m, TfL specification, but there are plans to develop a solution for provincial customers following thorough testing of the London vehicle.