Ashok Leyland, the flagship of the Hinduja Group has announced another significant milestone by its subsidiary Optare PLC. First York launched the first of 21 battery-electric Optare Metrodecker EV double-deckers. This follows the successful launch of the EV Double Decker in London with Metroline, this Metrodecker is a part of the 107 Metrodecker EV order Optare has received since the product was launched 18 months ago. Each Metrodecker EV with First York can carry 98 passengers, although that capacity is presently regulated due to social distancing measures. The model delivers a range in excess of 160 miles. The buses carry a new blue-based brand for the York park-and-ride network. They have audio-visual next stop announcements, wi-fi and USB charging points.
The Metrodecker EVs are the first new vehicles that have entered service with First UK Bus since it announced its pledge to achieve a completely zero-emission fleet by 2035. These are the first new vehicles to be introduced by First UK Bus anywhere in the country since the company announced on July 8 its commitment to achieving a zero-carbon fleet by 2035. The first Optare battery-electric buses – Versa EVs – entered service on the York park-and-ride network in 2014.
Vipin Sondhi, MD & CEO, Ashok Leyland, said, “We are proud of the progress Optare has been making in developing sustainable solutions for public transport. Optare has the know-how, technology, and experience to help cities with reducing emissions from buses. The total Metrodecker order book is 107, and as increased adoption of EV tech happens, Optare will certainly lead this transformation. Optare continues to be a key piece in our overall strategy to be amongst the Top 10 CV makers globally.”
These Metrodecker EVs have been developed from the prototype by Optare in a partnership with First York and the York City Council which began three years ago. They are made and fully assembled at Optare’s factory in Sherburn.