Oban firm tries out elec­tric bus

The Oban Times - - News -

OBAN could be see­ing elec­tric buses in the fu­ture af­ter a suc­cess­ful trial.

West Coast Mo­tors tested an Optern elec­tric bus, which re­leases zero emis­sions, on routes 001 from Soroba to Dunol­lie, the 416 town cir­cu­lar, 417 Gana­van Sands to Pul­pit Hill and the new Dun­staffnage ser­vice, as well as the Rock­field and Lochnell pri­mary schools run.

Oban and Mull area man­ager Rus­sell Dods said: ‘It worked well on nearly all the runs. The chil­dren love it. It is quite an im­pres­sive wee ma­chine. There are no smelly fumes. It makes no noise.

‘Apart from that, you would not know any dif­fer­ence be­tween a diesel en­gine and that one. You can go along the road at 30- 40mph just fine. With Oban, you are up and down the hill all the time, but it re­gen­er­ates go­ing down.’

The bus was given to West Coast Mo­tors for a free month­long trial. ‘ We will not be buy­ing them at the mo­ment. We do not have enough charg­ing points for it in Oban. The price you pay for them is the same as a lux­ury coach. You can get three nor­mal buses for the price. If the bat­ter­ies only last five years and you need to re­place them, then that will get very ex­pen­sive.’

But he added: ‘This is the tech­nol­ogy to go for. If it works, I guess in the fu­ture we would have them. We would like to think we will get some at some point.’

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