The Big Lemon’s new electric buses arrive at Southampton Docks

Following our successful application to the Department for Transport’s Ultra-Low Emission Bus Fund in 2018, and with the continued support of investors in our community, we have bought four more electric buses for use in Brighton & Hove.

Last year we trialled the Higer STEED bus on all our routes. This one is seen with The Big Lemon’s Optare Solo electric bus behind, on Route 16

The buses are called STEED (an acronym of Sustainable Transport Electric Energy Delivered) and are built by Higer Bus in China and supplied by Dublin-based Harris Bus & Coach. They will be the first of their kind in the UK.

The four buses will join The Big Lemon’s existing electric fleet, which is currently:

Two Optare Solos converted from diesel to electric by Magtec in Sheffield:

Four brand new Optare Solo EVs:

Two second-hand Optare Solo EVs originally operated in Dorset:

Three second-hand Optare Versa EVs originally operated in Coventry:

And an electric minibus:

The Higer STEED demonstrator vehicle performed well on all our routes, and the four additional electric buses will enable us to run all our services with zero-emission vehicles. One of the new STEEDs is already with us, but the other three were delayed, first by Coronavirus, and then by the closure of the Suez Canal following the grounding of the Ever Given earlier this year. They arrived in Southampton on Friday.

Our first Higer STEED being delivered

The Higer STEEDs have six CATL battery packs with 174kw of stored energy and have a maximum range of 155 miles in winter (165 in summer). They have 26 passenger seats, and capacity for 22 standing passengers.

We are very excited indeed to be imminently launching four brand new electric buses, as part of our transition to a fully electric fleet, ensuring all our bus services can be operated by zero-emission buses.

Air quality is a huge issue in Brighton & Hove, and The Big Lemon is committed to a fully zero-emissions electric fleet this year.

We are very grateful to our passengers, our investors, and of course our incredible staff team who have worked hard to make this possible.

I would also like to thank Chris Haughton, General Manager of Harris Bus & Coach for all his help, and Denise Harris, CEO, for all her support.

And to our community here in Brighton & Hove and supporters across the UK, thank you for believing in us and supporting us; The Big Lemon is leading the way in zero-emissions sustainable transport and it’s thanks to you.

Tom Druitt, founder & CEO, The BIg Lemon
Higer Bus with L2BEVR branding

The four new buses will be launched at The Big Lemon’s inaugural London to Brighton Electric Vehicle Rally on Sunday 18th July, sponsored by EDF.

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