#AYearOfBuses 48: Bristol – UWE Frenchay Campus

First Enviro400VE

Today on #AYearOfBuses, we’re checking out a revolutionary trial of ‘virtual electric’ buses in Bristol.

Two Alexander Dennis Enviro400VE (Virtual Electrics) are now in service with First West of England in Bristol, running on route 48A between the City Centre and UWE’s Frenchay Campus to the north of the city.

These buses are particularly unique – they charge their batteries using wireless electromegnetic induction through special charging plates installed at their northern terminus, on the university campus.

They use geo-fencing GPS technology to run on pure electric mode in areas where air quality is low, including the city centre, producing no emissions whatsoever. There’s a small diesel engine onboard too, which charges the electric motor if it starts to run low on juice.

They’re painted in a striking electric blue colour scheme featuring ‘electricity’ branding, and feature plenty of other mod-cons – including two sets of doors to speed up boarding times.

Thanks to Mark Lyons for today’s cracking photo.

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