Kent County Council launches seven-week electric bus trial

Kent County Council launches seven-week electric bus trial

Kent County Council has launched its OppCharge Electric Bus Trial as part of plans to improve air quality.

Working with Volvo and ABB, a Swedish-Swiss engineering group, the electric Volvo 7900e produces no emissions and is driven by electric motors.

It will operate as an additional hourly service – running on the Fastrack A route between Greenhithe, Bluewater and Dartford from March 21 to May 9.

During the trial, the electric bus will recharge outside Greenhithe train station in under six minutes using Innovative OppCharge pantograph high-power charging technology.

The OppCharge makes the range of the bus limitless by allowing the bus to charge at convenient locations along the line of route – in fact, a bus can charge within 30 seconds.

The vehicle uses an electric driveline featuring an energy storage system used to power and electric motor drive system.

The trial was launched by the Leader of Kent County Council Paul Carter today (March 20).

Paul Carter said: “We are extremely grateful to Volvo Bus and ABB for bringing the vehicle and charging infrastructure to Kent and are proud to be only the second local authority in the country to host this trial following an initial demonstration in Manchester in September 2017.”

He added: “It has great benefits for improving air quality and reducing CO2 emissions which are important to all of us and will allow us to provide evidence that electric vehicles can provide both financial and environmental benefits for the council in the longer term.

“If this proves a success it will allow us to build a case to roll out similar schemes across the country.”

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