European sightseeing tours go electric—Big Bus Tours deploys 40 electric buses

They ply the streets of every major European city—double-decker buses with open top decks, loaded with tourists taking in the sights. Like every other class of vehicle, these tour buses are starting to go electric.

Multinational tour bus operator Big Bus Tours has added 40 electric sightseeing buses to its fleet, just in time for the summer holiday season. The company is introducing 20 new Ankai electric buses in Paris and Vienna, and retrofitting 20 buses in London by converting 20 of its existing diesel buses to EVs.

The addition of the new electric buses in the three European cities will bring the company’s total electric fleet to 51, about 10% of its global fleet.

The new electric tour buses in Paris and Vienna are purpose-built electric sightseeing buses supplied by Chinese OEM Ankai. Each bus has a 315 kW battery pack and a ZF hub-motor axle. They support DC fast charging.

In London, Big Bus is converting 2012 Ankai tri-axle diesel buses to fully electric drive. Vehicle electrification specialist Equipmake is performing the conversions, fitting each bus with a 327 kW battery pack and a single motor that drives the existing axles. The buses can use either AC or DC charging. The London buses are only used during the day, so they’ll be charged overnight on 22 kW Level 2 chargers.

“This EV expansion is a major step forward in reducing our carbon footprint and enhancing the tour experience for our customers,” said Pat Waterman, Executive Chairman of Big Bus Tours.

Source: Big Bus Tours via Electrek

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