Slough trials electric bus on Heathrow route

Slough borough council and local transport provider Thames Valley Buses have trialled a fully electric single deck bus on services running from Slough to Heathrow Airport and Windsor.

The two-week trial, which began at the start of last week and will finish at the end of this week, features a bus which emits zero tail pipe emissions and no engine noise or vibration, developed by Chinese manufacturer Yutong Bus.

(l-r) Martijn Gilbert and Cllr Martin Carter inspect the electric bus

The electric bus is acting as one of the four vehicles operating on the 703 route daily.

For the purposes of the trial, a generator has been temporarily installed alongside Slough bus station to charge the bus overnight, but according to the council if adopted into regular operation the bus would be charged by a rapid electric vehicle (EV) charger connected directly to the power grid.


Councillor Martin Carter, cabinet member for planning and transport, said: “Slough has some of the highest numbers of ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) registrations in the country and our EV network is very well used.

“There has also been a rise in the number of hybrid and electric vehicles being used across the borough so we are currently rolling out more EV chargers to cater for the EV demand in our area.

“For this reason, we are thrilled to be teaming up with Thames Valley Buses for this trial; as we are extremely keen to meet the aspirations of people living locally who want to use convenient, greener and sustainable forms of transport.

“Slough is in a unique position to drive the change to electric motoring and will ensure we lead by example.”

The full electric bus will remain on trial between Heathrow, Slough and Bracknell until tomorrow (27 July).

Martijn Gilbert, chief executive of Thames Valley Buses, said: “We’re delighted to be trialling this state-of-the-art electric bus from our Slough depot in partnership with Slough borough bouncil.

“Electric bus technology is advancing at a rapid pace and we know that a greener future, with reduced transport emissions, is really important to our customers and stakeholders.

“It’s therefore important to demonstrate these latest advances and this trial will help inform our future fleet strategy and our work with partners such as Slough and other organisations across our network, especially with the expected growth in demand for local transport alongside Crossrail and Heathrow Airport expansion.”


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