Harris Group showcases next generation zero emission commuter bus

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  • 100% electric Higer Steed commuter bus launched
  • Next generation of sustainable, accessible and affordable mass transportation for urban and rural environments

Commercial vehicle distributor the Harris Group has revealed details of a new, 100% electric, low-floor bus to represent the country’s next generation of sustainable, accessible and affordable zero-emissions public transport.

Called the STEED (Sustainable Transport Electric Energy Delivered), the vehicle has been optimised to Harris Group specifications by manufacturer Higer, China’s leading bus and coach manufacturer and exporter. Set to take to Irish roads in 2020, it will be the first of its type to enter usage in the country’s mass transportation network and will answer growing demand for greener bus solutions from public and private operators as well as the general public.

Harris Group CEO Denise Harris said the new vehicle, is the latest in a long line of innovations pioneered by the company:

“At Harris Group we have always kept our focus on the future and today, against the backdrop of climate change, that means a transition to zero-emissions motoring and green transport technology.”

“The Government’s Climate Action Plan 2019 sets out clear targets in relation to the decarbonisation of the public transport fleet and a move to EV buses. We commend this objective as well as the strong appetite among private operators to follow suit, and we are proud to introduce the STEED as the first vehicle to bridge the gap between aspirational objectives and operational needs.”

Powered by CATL lithium-ion batteries producing 174 Kw of output the STEED has a maximum passenger capacity of 48 and an operational range of over 200km[i], putting it in the category of ‘crossover’ vehicles suitable for service on both urban and rural route networks. Each vehicle is also delivered with its own CCS2 DC fast-charging infrastructure providing a full charge in less than two hours, maximising on-road time and reducing operating costs. The STEED also leads the charge in terms of passenger accessibility and capacity, with a low-entry flat floor enabling easy wheelchair access. Additional features include saloon air conditioning and low power, high output destination boards.

“With the introduction of the STEEDwe have eliminated the last potential barriers for operators to transition to an EV bus fleet,” said Chris Haughton, General Manager of Harris Group bus and coach division Harris Auto.

“This vehicle answers every question it is asked in relation to drivetrain efficiency, operational capability and passenger accessibility. We can also confirm that the STEED will be available at a price point which is significantly lower than equivalent EV-class vehicles enabling a total cost of ownership superior to diesel. We are proud to be working with Higer on bringing the STEED to the Irish market. China has led the way with the electrification of their urban bus fleets and Higer has been in the vanguard of this transformation. The STEED represents a quantum leap in the ability of private and public operators to follow through on commitments to change, and we are clearly seeing this in the level of interest that it is generating.”