National Express Trials Yutong’s GTe14 Electric Coach

National Express has announced that it will be the first coach operator in the UK to trial Yutong’s new GTe14 tri-axle battery-electric coach.

Next week, the electric coach will be launched into National Express service following a period of driver training and familiarisation.

During the four-week trial, the GTe14 battery-electric coach will transport passengers on National Express’s high-frequency route between Stansted Airport and London.

National Express is the first to trial the brand-new Yutong GTe14 battery-electric coach

This service will build on a 2020 trial where National Express tested Yutong’s smaller TCe12 model on their A9 service between Stansted and Stratford.

Now, National Express will test the larger GTe14 model which incorporates more seating and luggage space. It will also trial the corresponding charging technology in a real-world operating environment. This will allow the operator to gather feedback from drivers and customers.

Tom Berry, Zero Emissions Vehicle Specialist for Mobico Group, said:

“As the UK’s largest coach operator, we know National Express’s scale and ambition can help drive innovation in the coach market as we work towards our goal of having a UK coach fleet that produces zero emissions at the tailpipe.

“We are grateful to Yutong for allowing us to be the first UK scheduled coach operator to trial the newest state-of-the-art battery-electric coach, and we’re looking forward to testing the GTe14 model on our high-frequency services between Stansted Airport and London over the coming weeks.”

The GTe14 battery-electric coach used by National Express will feature LED mood lighting, leather reclining seats, air conditioning and onboard charging for passenger comfort and convenience.

The model is 13,970mm long, 2,487mm wide and 3,900mm tall, It has 53 seats and a wheelchair space with a mid-door lift for access, as well as a mid-positioned toilet.

The coach incorporates battery packs with a capacity of 563kWh, providing it with an estimated range of between 250 and 300 miles.

Ian Downie, Head of Yutong UK, said:

“With over 180,000 zero tailpipe emission vehicles in service around the world, the Yutong product is tried, tested and proven. Our vehicles have completed over 24.9 billion miles in service.

“Pelican’s continued investment in the UK coaching industry is evidenced by this launch of our new GTe14 tri-axle electric coach, which is heading to National Express as the first operator to trial the vehicle in service over the coming weeks. The GTe14 joins the two-axle TCe12 as the only zero tailpipe emission coaches available in the UK.”

While in service for National Express, the coach will be powered by a 140kW charger using electricity from renewable sources at Stansted Airport. It will run for up to 21 hours a day with its charge being topped up during scheduled stops at Stansted Airport. It will then undergo a full charge at the end of each day.

On average, coaches operating on National Express airport routes between Stansted and London travel 139.8k miles each year. GTe14 battery-electric coaches running on the same routes could therefore save 160 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.

Compared to city buses, coach services are more challenging to decarbonise. However, this week, coach operator FilxBus also announced that it is trialling an electric coach service in England and Wales.

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