Zero emission mode in the city centre, diesel powered for the rest of the route. The British manufacturer Alexander Dennis delivered 30 new hybrid buses to Brighton & Hove (they will start operations in October). They are equipped with BAE Systems’ series hybrid technology.

These vehicles will set a very first in the UK: in fact the buses will be converted in full electric every time they enter the city Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ), according to the practice called geofencing that for the first time has been combined with zero emissions technology in the UK.

Brighton & Hove Buses is part of the Go-Ahead group, which set the goal of operating a zero-emissions fleet nationwide by 2035. So far, Go-Ahead operates the UK’s largest all-electric bus garage, in London’s Waterloo.

alexander dennis hybrid bus

ADL and BAE Systems technology

The Enviro400ER buses, equipped with BAE Systems’ series hybrid technology, are moved via an electric drivetrain and can run for up to three miles in electric mode, according to the manufacturer. BAE Systems and ADL have been working together since 2008. BAE Systems technology is mounted also on Nova Bus vehicles for TTC Toronto.

The buses run on batteries (32 kWh on board), topped up via regenerative braking and a small Euro VI engine used as a generator, if needed, when the bus is outside the zone. They don’t need to recharge in the middle of the day. This keeps buses in service and eliminates the need for the city to invest in charging stations.

The Enviro400ERs don’t have mirrors but instead have two high-definition cameras on the front, relaying pictures to monitors inside the driver’s cab.

7.6 million people a year on ruote 5 in Brighton

The new vehicles purchased by Brighton & Hove Buses are model Alexander Dennis Enviro400ER and belongs to the hybrid electric range. The new buses will be launched in October on busy route 5, which is used by 7.6 million people a year and equates to 133,104 emissions-free miles driven in the ULEZ each year. Up to 24 route 5 buses an hour run through the zone.

Brighton & Hove Buses, a new environmental campaign

The Enviro400ERs stand out from the rest of the fleet, mirroring the colours of Brighton: the midnight-blue silhouetted skyline, the dark teal of the sea and the iconic pale green of the city’s seaside arches, the manufacturer underlines.

The buses mark the start of the bus company’s wider community environmental campaign, Live & Breathe, which appears on the side of each bus. The campaign will include a stakeholders’ tour on the new buses in mid-October, a school competition with a climate change theme and other local events.

Brighton & Hove Buses’ Managing Director Martin Harris said: “We wanted these buses to reflect the city and the communities they serve. It’s a tribute to Brighton life and to the people who live here. Our aim is to help improve air quality for everybody by continually cutting emissions and reducing our energy and fuel use. These new buses are an important part of our commitment to making Brighton & Hove a clean air city with zero emissions by 2030.”

Go-Ahead Chief Executive David Brown said: “Go-Ahead is proud to be leading the way on clean transport and this innovation moves us closer to our goal of operating a zero-emissions fleet nationwide by 2035. A double decker bus can take as many as 75 cars off the roads in our cities and towns, so when it comes to improving the air quality and congestion in our cities buses are a vital part of the solution, especially with vehicles that can be set to run in zero-emissions mode in sensitive areas like these.”


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