Arrival electric buses to start trials in the UK this year

Electric buses made by British company Arrival will soon be quietly plying British roads in a trial by transport company First Group, one of the biggest transport company in the UK.

This trial signals that Arrival’s ambitious expansion plan is taking off. Arrival hopes to be making sales north of $3 billion by 2024 from buses alone, on top of 11,000 buses. Their van business would also pull in more than $10 billion. This is coming from a company that is still hunting for sites for its plants in the UK.

Arrival has however been able to land investments worth hundreds of millions of dollars as they work towards producing electric vans and passenger buses.

image source: Arrival

The pubic tests will start later this year, using models made by Arrival in Banbury in the UK. First Group is aiming to reduce operating costs and create improved experience for its commuters by deploying electric buses, in addition to pursuing green fuel goals of its own. The transport company is also trialing electric buses from BYD ADL, Optare and Yutong.

The buses will be single-decker and seat 36 people. They will feature tracking systems, information screens and allow easy accessibility with their low flat floors.

As for prices, Arrival claims their buses will be comparable to diesel buses but significant savings will come from lower costs of maintenance and fueling over the life time of the buses. There is no info yet on the range of the public vehicles.

Other companies are also in talks to carry out their own separate trials.

image source: Arrival

Avinash Rugoobur, president at Arrival said “Today is an important day in the transition to a more sustainable, user focused transportation ecosystem and we are thrilled to be partnering with First Bus on this trial and for people to experience the Arrival Bus on public roads – We are working in partnership with operators and cities globally to support improvements to public transportation networks whilst creating vehicles that can be tailored to local needs”

Arrival was formed in the UK in 2015 and now employs more than 1,400 workers. The company is also doing public trials with United Parcel Service in the US, starting this month. The courier company has already placed order for 10,000 vans from Arrival as part of the agreement.

Britain has announced a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030. It makes sense for transport companies to start their shift to electric operations early. First Group however has committed to stop buying diesel buses by as early as 2023. Its fleet would consist entirely of green fuel buses by 2035.

Written by D.O. for