Oban firm tries out electric bus
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.’