Electric bus trial

We are taking part in a 7 week electric bus trial, run by Volvo Bus and their technical partner ABB (a Swedish-Swiss engineering group) as part of their 1 year demonstration programme across the UK.

The electric bus will operate as an additional hourly service, running on the Fastrack A route between Greenhithe, Bluewater and Dartford from 21 March to 9 May. Download the bus timetable (PDF, 910.8 KB).

The bus, a Volvo 7900e, produces no emissions and is driven by electric motors,  providing up to 80% lower energy consumption than an equivalent diesel bus.

During the trial, the electric bus will recharge outside Greenhithe train station in under 6 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 route, charging within 30 seconds.

Anyone can travel on the new bus and you don't need to pre-book. Fares are the same as the Fastrack A route.

Electric buses have great benefits for improving air quality and reducing CO2 emissions and the electric bus trial will allow us to gather evidence to show that they can provide both financial and environmental benefits for the council in the longer term.

The electric bus is successfully operating in Sweden, Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg.

Most of the costs for the trial have been met by Volvo Bus and ABB.

The first permanent use of the Opp Charging technology in the UK will be in Harrogate and is expected to go live in May 2018.

Key stakeholders involved in this project include:

  • Kent County Council
  • Volvo
  • ABB (charging partners)
  • Arriva (as the bus operator for the Fastrack A route)
  • Prologis (who manage the Fastrack A contract)
  • Dartford Borough Council
  • Southeastern
  • Ebbsfleet Development Corporation
  • Bluewater.

For more information about the project you can find out by: