Switch Mobility announces it has secured an order for 70 buses from Stagecoach. The order consists of 10 Switch Metrocity 9.5m electric buses, which will operate on Route W11 in London and 60 Slimline Solo 8.5m, Euro 6 certified buses sold under the Optare brand, presently integrated into Switch Mobility.
The Solo buses will support Stagecoach in replacing part of their significant fleet of Solo buses across the country. The Metrocity products will go into operation in early 2024 and the Solo’s during the first half of 2024.
Switch Mobility, India remains the major market
For the UK market, Switch Mobility (formerly Optare) provided its first electric Metrocity buses to Stagecoach in June 2023. As reported on our latest Sustainable Bus magazine (available here), at pag. 30, “Back in November 2022, Switch explained that a battery-electric Metrocity would enable the model to remain as the manufacturer’s core UK bus. In Europe meanwhile, no further news is forthcoming regarding production commencing at Switch’s Valladolid, Spain plant. As of July 2022, Switch planned bus manufacture for the European market to begin within 12 months at the new 35-acre facility, planned to include two production lines. India continues to be Switch’s most significant market, with the company owned by Ashok Leyland, part of the Hinduja Group, headquartered in Mumbai”.
Switch Metrocity fo Stagecoach
Equipped with the latest NMC battery technology, the Switch Metrocity is claimed to be “one of the most efficient electric buses in its class, that has been recently upgraded to deliver improved efficiency and increased range of up to 170 miles”, producer states.
The Optare Solo is one of the UK’s most recognisable buses, with over 4000 having been produced. The 8.5m slimline variant will be manufactured to Stagecoach’s exacting specification and provide seating for 28 people.
Mahesh Babu, Chief Executive Officer – Switch Mobility Ltd, said, ‘’We are delighted to continue to expand our relationship with Stagecoach. Stagecoach’s repeat order for the Metrocity electric bus, following the recent delivery of 20 buses in London, is testament to the efficiency and versatility of the Metrocity. Whilst our focus at Switch is on engineering and delivering the world’s most efficient electric buses, we recognise operators such as Stagecoach are continuing to look for ways to reduce the environmental impact and improve the efficiency of their fleet. For this reason, we have taken the decision to re-start production of our renowned Solo product and support Stagecoach in replacing part of their existing Solo fleet.”
Sam Greer, Chief Operating Officer – Stagecoach, said, “We are pleased to be welcoming a further 70 low emission vehicles to our fleet which will help us with our sustainability targets of reaching zero emissions by 2050 and a fully electric bus fleet by 2035.”