Flixbus trials electric coach services between England and Wales

Flix has announced the launch of its pilot for the first 100% electric long-distance coach service in England and Wales. From 21 March until June 2024, travellers will be able to try out the electric vehicle on a FlixBus route between London and Bristol in England and over to Newport in South Wales.

Image: FlixBus

FlixBus is now offering long-distance coach services with zero tailpipe emissions, the company’s first long-distance electric service in England and Wales. The three-month trial on FlixBus’ long-distance coach network with operator partner Newport Transport will be conducted with the 46-seat Yutong TCe12 electric coach.

The electric coach services will be affordable, with ticket prices starting from just £2.99.  The Yutong electric coach includes a toilet, USB charging points and free wi-fi for all customers, as per usual with FlixBus services, as well as supporting travel for passengers in wheelchairs.

According to RouteOne magazine, the Yutong buses will be charged at Newport Transport’s headquarters in South Wales and in London. Transport UK London Bus (formerly Abellio) will allow the use of its Battersea depot as a charging hub as part of the project.

Newport Transport, with whom FlixBus recently expanded its partnership for services across Wales and the Southwest, recently ordered seven diesel buses from the Chinese bus manufacturer with “clean Euro VI diesel coaches” through UK and Ireland importer and distributor for Yutong buses and coaches, Pelican Bus and Coach. Now, the partners are trialling the first long-distance fully electric coach service in England and Wales and are counting on Yutong’s long-distance electric bus for its pilot project.

The Yutong TCe12 electric coach, which will now be running between England and Wales, has a maximum power of 350 kW with a water-cooled motor with its own radiator. The batteries are lithium iron phosphate chemistry (LFP) from Chinese battery-making giant CATL and are water-cooled with a total of 281kWh capacity, provided in 10 separate modular packs. The electric bus is said to allow operators a range of more than 200 miles (approximately 322 kilometres) on a full charge. The electric coach is the UK’s first zero-emission long-distance coach, which received ULEB certification in 2020.

In Newport, where Newport Transport is the main provider of Welsh city’s municipal bus services, the transport provider says it operates 60% of its daily local bus services with zero emission at the tailpipe. The zero tailpipe emission coach services will run between London, Bristol and Newport.

FlixBus reports over 60 destinations on its UK network, alongside daily services to continental Europe. Flixbus trialed interregional bus services in Portugal in 2022 with Yutong electric buses.

Flixbus is pioneering interregional zero tailpipe emission transport, for which the company is open to whatever technology gets the job done. The passenger transport provider has also turned to Freudenberg and ZF to develop hydrogen-powered buses for intercity services. The three-year ‘HyFleet’ project focuses on fuel cell development to enable continuous operation of at least 35,000 hours. Another research focus is on hybridisation strategies for the powertrain, the so-called “right-sizing” between fuel cell and battery. The HyFleet project has been developing the first fuel cell-powered long-distance bus in Europe until 2024, the results of which should soon be known.

In the UK, Flixbus is trialling fully electric intercity bus services from 21 March until June 2024 between London, Bristol and Newport. Andreas Schorling, Managing Director of FlixBus UK, said: “This is a huge step forward for the UK coach sector, transforming the already low-carbon mode of transport to zero-emission at the tailpipe through innovative technology.”

flixbus.co.uk, route-one.net


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