Big Bus Tours adds 40 electric sightseeing buses to its fleet

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Global open-top tour bus operator Big Bus Tours has added 40 electric sightseeing buses to its fleet in time for the summer holiday season.

Big Bus Tours is introducing 20 brand-new Ankai electric buses in Paris and Vienna and retrofitting 20 buses in London by converting 20 of the existing diesel fleet to electric.

The new electric tour buses in Paris and Vienna are purpose-built electric sightseeing buses supplied by Ankai Anhui. The buses have 315 kW battery packs, sending power to the road through a ZF hub-motor axle. The buses can DC fast charge within four to six hours, depending on the grid load.

In London, the original buses are 2012 Ankai tri-axle diesel converted to fully electric by Equipmake. The conversion entails fitting a 327 kW battery pack that sends power to a single motor driving directly into the existing axles. The buses can be charged either AC or DC. The London buses are only used during the day, so they’ll be charged overnight on 22 kW chargers.

“We are thrilled to welcome these new electric buses as part of our investment in sustainability,” said Pat Waterman, executive chairman of Big Bus Tours. “This EV expansion is a major step forward in reducing our carbon footprint and enhancing the tour experience for our customers.”

The electric buses in all three European cities will hit the road this summer, bringing the company’s total electric fleet to 51 (just over 10% of its global fleet).

Read more: In a US first, Seattle to deploy double-decker electric buses with inductive wireless charging


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