Battery Electric

Battery Electric

A battery electric bus operates using an electric motor powered by a lithium ion battery charged using mains electricity. Electric buses produce no tail-pipe emissions and are therefore given the status as ‘zero emission capable’. 

GHG emissions associated with electricity production need to be taken into account when calculating the WTW GHG emissions of electric buses.

Manufacturers of electric buses:

Optare logo

“Our fully electric vehicle range is leading the way in zero emissions technology, while our Euro 6 Diesel and hybrid options still offer operators the full range of power options depending on their requirements.”

BYD logo

“The BYD Electric Bus is the first of its kind in service worldwide. Utilizing BYD's proprietary Iron-Phosphate battery, it meets roughly 80% of urban transit needs with typical range of 155+ miles."

Wrightsgroup logo

“From concept to customer we manage it all – no wonder we are often the first choice of transport operators looking to change the way passengers feel about buses. We are capable of producing all of our vehicles with either Euro 6 diesel or alternative drivelines, including hybrid-electric, plug-in electric and induction power transfer.”

Alexander Dennis logo

“Our fully electric bus combines the strengths of ADL's market-leading Enviro200 single deck design with BYD's technology-leading electric drive train.”

Irizar e-mobility logo

"Irizar e-mobility’s business is based on providing comprehensive electric mobility solutions for cities, both in terms of manufacturing 100% electric buses, and in terms of manufacturing and installing the majorinfrastructure systems necessary for charging, traction and energy storage, all with the application of the Group’s 100% European technology and with Irizar’s warranty and service quality."

Case Study

Nottingham Community Transport


Nottingham Community Transport is a not-for-profit charity, that owns and operates one of the UK's largest electric bus fleets, running a number of contracted bus services on behalf of Nottingham City Council.

Optare Solo eBuses

  • Fleet consists of 45 Optare Solo EV buses.
  • Range of about 70 miles.
  • Operation plans a single through-the-day 50kW rapid charge, usually timetabled during the drivers lunch break. Charges approx 1% of battery capacity every two minutes.
  • The buses also require overnight trickle charging. 2x 7.5kW onboard chargers per bus takes approximately 8hours to fully charge.
Challenges that arose:
  • TIME TO INSTALL ELECTRICITY SUPPLY (12 MONTHS) – need to bear this in mind as part of any potential EV design process.
  • LACK OF FAST CHARGERS FOR THE OPTARE FLEET – 12 FAST CHARGERS TO 45 BUSES – this restricted the ability to operate all of the services as electric, but is now improving as the number of fast chargers increases.
  • RANGE AND DRIVER ANXIETY – Some drivers suffered from ‘heavy right foot syndrome’ and also cautious as to whether they will have enough battery charge. Now introduced a full induction process for drivers of EVs and all duties have been organised around the operation of the vehicles. We are also working with NCC to introduce Viriciti telemetrics.
  • BARRIERS – We still have problems explaining the technical aspects of this complex project. 80% of the vehicles that we operate are EVs, so in theory electric buses have evolved with us as we’ve grown, but for existing operators considering EVs, there may be barriers changing from a diesel mindset to an electric mindset.
  • MAXIMISE RANGE OF VEHICLE – look at what you need before you purchase any vehicles – is fast charging possible, or would it be better to buy additional battery packs to increase range?
  • LIMIT USE OF FAST CHARGING – it’s a 'nice to have' luxury, but can give you problems if you have to rely on it, especially if you get a fault or need a new part. Also take advantage of off-peak electricity as it may be a cheaper alternative.
  • ADJUST DRIVER SCHEDULE – so that if you do need to fast charge, this takes place whilst the driver is having their break.
  • FULL DRIVER INDUCTION AND CPC – we ensure all drivers receive a full induction, making optimum use of regenerative braking. We are also in the process of devising our own electric bus CPC module.

A full presentation of this case study was given by Ian Combellack, General Manager of NComT at the LEB Workshop in Nottingham, November 2017.

Download Case Study

Join Us

If you want to get involved in the work of one or more of Zemo Partnership's Working Groups, why not join us, or contact the Secretariat for more information.