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News Release - Issued by Transdev

Funding awarded for the world’s first fleet of double-decker Sightseeing buses

The world’s first retrofitted electric-powered double-decker bus will launch into service today with funding now awarded for the conversion of another five City Sightseeing vehicles.

Transport company Transdev is working in partnership with City of York Council who have been given £475,000 to convert the five existing diesel vehicles to fully electric.

The news will significantly improve the travelling experience for passengers with noisy engines replaced, whilst also improving the air quality in York.

Alex Hornby, Transdev’s Managing Director, said: "This pioneering, 100 per cent electric open-top double-deck bus is just one example of Transdev's innovative approach in terms of leading technology and partnership effort - in this case with our colleagues at City of York Council, City Sightseeing and the manufacturer MAGTEC.

"The project is great news for our customers, the local environment and all those who reside in and visit the great city of York. As well as offering zero emissions, the bus offers a beautifully smooth ride and is refreshingly quiet, ideal for our guided tour operations in the city.

"We are so proud to be delivering a world first and look forward to seeing how well it is received by all who travel on it as the bus starts its first season of our City Sightseeing operations in York."

City of York Council were awarded £75,433 to convert a 15-year-old bus to fully electric, after successfully bidding for the Department of Transport’s (DfT) Clean Bus Technology Fund.

The buses will be converted from diesel to pure electric with lithium ion batteries, similar to those used in mobile phones.

Neil Ferris, Assistant Director of Transport, Fleet and Waste City of York Council, said: “We’re delighted that Transdev have been able to convert even more Sightseeing buses to fully electric drive through the Clean Bus Technology Fund, which was awarded to the council in 2013.

“York is again leading the way in improving air quality and bus travel. We’re the first city in the world to launch a new fleet of electric double-decker City Sightseeing buses, which supports our Low Emission Strategy - the first city to be adopted in the UK.

“This will provide residents and tourists with a better use of transport and improved air quality, which is an important issue in York.”
Kate McMullen, Head of Visit York, said: “This is good news for York and we’re confident this will prove popular with many of the city’s visitors.“

York City Sightseeing is one of the most popular tours on the City Sightseeing franchise in the UK, giving tourists the perfect view of the city over the famous walls.

Thousands of tourists and residents travel on the award-winning service every year.

The hop-on, hop off system allows people to explore the city at their leisure with tickets priced at £12 for a full-day pass.
City Sightseeing offers similar services elsewhere in the country as well as most of the major cities around the world.

Facts and figures
• City of York Council have been awarded £475,000 for the conversion of the remaining five diesel double-deckers
• £75,433 – amount awarded to convert the first Sightseeing bus which will be launched into service today
• £15,000 - £20,000 – the reduction in yearly operating costs for each bus
• 33 tonnes – the amount of CO2 emissions eliminated by using the electric bus annually
• 2.1 tonnes – the weight of the diesel engine removed from one bus
• 535 kg – the amount of nitrous oxide emissions eliminated on one bus annually
• 1.9 tonne – the weight of the battery packs & electric motors added
• 8 hours – how long it takes to charge the battery for each bus
• 90 miles – how far a fully charged bus can go
• The bus will travel all day without the need to charge