Earlier this week Fleet Bus & Coach participated in a successful return trip test trial from Dublin to Cork in the electric Higer AZURE. No surprise, this emission-free bus was well up to the trip.
One of the big challenges and concerns for drivers of electric buses is ‘range anxiety’. After extensive testing and further development, the Higer Azure, the all-new, all-electric 12m commuter bus from the leading Chinese manufacturer has range of 400km . Fleet Bus & Coach was provided with the unique opportunity to put it to the range distance test on a special trip to Cork. Upon arriving in Cork, just under 250km, or 50% range was left in the battery pack. While the M7 / M8 would not be the natural environment for the AZURE, it still managed to achieve some re-generation of the battery on the journey. While in Cork local people and delegates had a good look around the bus, which will be the future of public transport. This 12m bus has seating for 42 passengers and can accommodate up to 70 people, depending on the lay out selected. With Zero emissions, the AZURE is one of the most environmentally friendly public transport options available in Ireland.
Exclusively distributed by to the Harris Group, the new Higer AZURE has been designed for the Irish and UK markets with specifications ideal for open roads and city travel. Labelled a ‘smart’ bus, the technology-equipped vehicle is able to learn its routes and adapt accordingly, ensuring it is super-efficient and economical to run and maintain.
According John McEvoy, Chief Operating Officer at Harris Group, the new AZURE is the perfect antidote to ‘range anxiety’; “We’re delighted to launch the new AZURE to the Irish market and given its capability and efficiency, it’s the commercial transport option city travel has been calling out for. We have worked very closely with our partners at Higer to develop intelligent technologies specifically for our commercial fleet. The technology effectively learns the roads and routes that the bus is being driven on and adapts accordingly to ensure optimum use of power; something we’re very proud to have been involved in.”
He added: “Coupled with this is the incredible fast charging capability of the Azure, which helps to minimise the downtime that some operators associate with recharging electric vehicles. “This trip to Cork shows the capability of this advanced electric vehicle. It shows that it can easily operate for long periods in a city environment and at the same time be clean, efficient and sustainable”.
The Harris Group’s Bus & Coach division has several Higer 8m STEED fully electric buses in operation. The addition of a larger option with an expanded range is a true game-changer for public transport. As John explained: “Government has been doing a lot of work to encourage the shift away from fossil fuels in Irish transport. And we know that Irish consumers are looking for more eco-conscious and sustainably-focused companies. We believe we have the ideal product to help support the sustainability agenda and we’re looking forward to showcasing the Higer AZURE and other electric commercial vehicles in our range over the coming weeks.”
Over the next months, Harris Bus & Coach will be taking the AZURE on tour, visiting Limerick, Galway and other locations around the country.
Further details on the successful test trail will feature in the next edition of Fleet Bus & Coach