Expert energy analysis and insight for UK businesses.
Discover how Pelican Bus and Coach is leading the charge to make UK buses electric.
We challenged Chris Hines – founding member of Surfers Against Sewage and former Sustainability Director of the Eden Project – to find some shining examples of UK businesses who put sustainability at the heart of everything they do.
The best electric bus in the world
The second Electric Adventure we sent Chris on was to Pelican Bus and Coach, a family-run business celebrating its 100th birthday as a company this year.
Pelican is the UK importer for Yutong: the largest electric bus and coach manufacturer in the world.
Pelican import Yutong's full range of electric buses and coaches to the UK. Among these, the E10 and E12 buses are both 100% electric models with zero emissions. In fact, the E12 is widely considered to be the best electric bus currently in production, with its range of about 217 miles making it more than capable of completing a typical daily route.
With no diesel engine there's no vibration or noise, helping ensure maximum comfort for both the driver and passengers. Among the bus' impressive features, it has separate air-conditioning for the driver and the passenger section, energy-saving LED lighting, and even separate USB charging points for every passenger seat. For more information on the model, have a look at the specification here.
The move to cleaner air
The number of electric buses on Britain’s roads is increasing - in 2018, 4.2% of all UK bus sales(1) were zero emission - but the country lags behind the rest of Europe. Recent EU-wide research shows that the lower fuel and maintenance costs of electric buses make them a competitive option for fleet operators. However, in the UK, the Bus Service Operators Grant - a rebate on fuel duty - has had the unintended effect of slowing down the uptake of low-emission vehicles.
Despite this, less than two years after entering the EV market, Pelican Bus and Coach has already made more than 230 e-bus sales, and is helping to lead a change that has real community benefits. Aside from the obvious reduction in noise, particulates from diesel engines contribute to the 28,000-36,000 annual pollution deaths(2) in the UK. Removing diesel vehicles will have a direct benefit for public health.
Buses and coaches are an integral part of town and city infrastructure, and their electrification is a key pillar in the UK government’s Clean Air Strategy. To support this, the Office for Low Emission Vehicles and the Department for Transport make grants available for local authorities to fund the switch to electric buses.
One example of these kinds of grants is the Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme, which provides funding to support the purchase of new buses – helping local authorities work with bus operators to realise the benefits of cleaner air in their areas. The scheme has supported the purchase of 263 ultra-low emission buses, and provided a £14.2m investment in charging infrastructure(3).
The benefits of zero-emission bus transport touch all parts of the community: along with increases in urban air quality, electric fleets give business a future-facing advantage, while delivering passengers a cleaner, quieter ride.
Chris Hines visited Newport Transport in Wales to see how it had put the Yutong E12 electric buses to the test. When Chris met managing director Scott Pearson, he told him that during the trial, the electric buses had reduced the company's fuel bill by 275%.
So there you have it, a centenary business whose electric adventure is proving the value and efficiency of going electric. Good for business, bus drivers, passengers, and the environment alike.
EDF Energy’s role
We’re proud that Pelican Bus and Coach are one of our customers. We’re helping support the business by providing the infrastructure they need. Our large business energy solutions mean they can offer local authorities a proposition that makes the switch to electric easy, efficient and cost effective.
Here at EDF Energy, we’re committed to a low-carbon future. We’re here to help make your business more sustainable by going electric.
Did you know we offer an end-to-end business solution to go electric? We offer charging options, vehicle to grid solutions and you can even lease electric vehicles with us.
Speak to us today about electric vehicle fleet options to suit your needs. Enquire now
Watch all three films to find out more about how these businesses switched to electric fleets to minimise their impact on the planet, and see how it could work for your business too.