Six of the Optare Solo EV buses, operated by Stagecoach, have been modified to allow them to run for longer in between charging sessions.
The Optare Solo buses are fully electric and produce low carbon and zero emissions. The eco-friendly buses were first introduced last year and look identical to a conventional bus but run off an electric power pack and are operated using the Magtec P144 zero emission vehicle drive system.
They can be fully charged in six hours using the 15.2kW onboard charger. Up to now, the buses could travel 95 miles on a single charge. However, recent innovations mean each bus can now cover 130 miles. An increase in range of nearly 50%.
The buses were initially powered via two x26 Valance Lithium Iron Magnesium Phosphate batteries. To increase the range Optare, the bus manufacturer, has added further batteries to the bus. These are located on a new pod on the roof and can be seen in the image below.
Stagecoach UK bus engineering director Sam Greer explained that “sustainability is at the heart of our business and we have worked with Optare to develop a fleet of vehicles that is emissions free and now even more efficient, as well as providing improved comfort for passengers and reduced vehicle noise. Importantly, these buses will help further improve air quality for the people of Inverness”.