A fleet of ‘electric buses’ are expected to enter service in Bristol at the end the month.


Induction plate at Frenchay. Image by Mark Nichols.

The project is a collaboration between First West of England, UWE, the Department for Transport and Bristol City Council.


The buses are designed to use GPS geo-fencing technology to switch on an electric battery in areas of poor air quality in order to reduce emissions to virtually zero. The buses will operate Service 72 from the City Centre to UWE’s Frenchay Campus, via its normal route through Whiteladies Road & Gloucester Road. The bus will run in full electric mode throughout the City Centre and along Gloucester Road where air quality is poor, and the diesel engine will automatically operate along Whiteladies Road where air quality is better, and will do so simply to recharge the battery.


Induction plates have been installed at UWE’s Frenchay Campus, the terminus of the route,

and are designed to wirelessly recharge the electric battery when the bus is stationary over the magnetic plates.


James Freeman of First West of England, said: “Bristol is the perfect place to trial technology like this. During the Green Capital year in 2015 we also trialled a Bio-Methane powered Poo Bus” (as reported by Western Eye), and followed: “This adds to Bristol’s growing reputation as a laboratory for change and an environmental innovator. These clean tech vehicles will help to reduce pollution and improve the health of the city, and are part of the continuing impact of our highly successful year as European Green Capital 2015.”

Bristol’s Mayor George Ferguson also added, “I am delighted that we have been able to launch this cutting edge technology in Bristol, as the first city outside of London to do so. Engineers and scientists will examine how the bus performs in regard to their environmental impact.

By Mark Nichols