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National Express trials new e-coach on Stansted-to-London route

Travel operator National Express is to become the UK’s first coach company to trial a new battery electric vehicle on one of its routes.

The firm plans to test the brand-new Yutong GTe14 tri-axle coach over a four-week period as it looks to reduce its fleet emissions.

During the trial the GTe14 will operate on the high-frequency airport route between Stansted Airport and London and the test is expected to save 13.3 tonnes of CO2 during the four-week period.

National Express previously tested the smaller Yutong TCe12 on its Stansted-to-Stratford service and the new trial provides an opportunity for it to assess the larger GTe14 model, which incorporates more seating and luggage space. The 53-seat coach has LED mood lighting, leather reclining seats, air conditioning, onboard charging, and a wheelchair space with a mid-door lift

Tom Berry, zero emissions vehicle specialist for National Express’s parent company Mobico Group, said: “As the UK’s largest coach operator, we know National Express’s scale and ambition can help drive innovation in the coach market as we work towards our goal of having a UK coach fleet that produces zero emissions at the tailpipe.

“We are grateful to Yutong for allowing us to be the first UK scheduled coach operator to trial the newest state-of-the-art battery-electric coach, and we’re looking forward to testing the GTe14 model on our high-frequency services between Stansted Airport and London over the coming weeks.”

Ian Downie, head of Yutong UK, added: “With over 180,000 zero tailpipe emission vehicles in service around the world, the Yutong product is tried, tested and proven. Our vehicles have completed over 24.9 billion miles in service.

“Pelican’s continued investment in the UK coaching industry is evidenced by this launch of our new GTe14 tri-axle electric coach, which is heading to National Express as the first operator to trial the vehicle in service over the coming weeks. The GTe14 joins the two-axle TCe12 as the only zero tailpipe emission coaches available in the UK.”

Powered by a 140kW charger with electricity from renewable sources at Stansted Airport, the coach will run up to 21 hours a day with top-up charging during scheduled stop times in between departures at Stansted Airport, and a longer charging period at the end of each day.

Yutong’s GTe14 coach incorporates battery packs with a capacity of 563kWh, which is designed to offer an estimated range of between 250 and 300 miles.

The announcement comes shortly after Flixbus announced it was trialling the TCe12 on its route between London and Newport in South Wales.

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Matt Allan

Matt is Editor of EV Powered. He has worked in journalism for more than 20 years and been an automotive journalist for the last decade, covering every aspect of the industry, from new model reveals and reviews to consumer and driving advice. The former motoring editor of, The Scotsman and National World, Matt has watched the EV landscape transform beyond recognition over the last 10 years and developed a passion for electric vehicles and what they mean for the future of transport - from the smallest city cars to the biggest battery-powered trucks. When he’s not driving or writing about electric cars, he’s figuring out how to convert his classic VW camper to electric power.