Electric hopper bus could be introduced in Jersey next year

A new electric hopper bus could be introduced in Jersey from next year.

Minister for Infrastructure, Deputy Kevin Lewis, said he hoped to see it adopted by LibertyBus, following a trial of a new model in Guernsey and Jersey over the last week.

The trial went ahead despite a statement earlier this month from Deputy Lewis's department which said "there are no Jersey-compatible zero-emission buses or large commercial vehicles on the market yet which are suited for our roads."

The Higer Steed, which is on loan from Ireland, is a single-decker bus and narrower than standard buses, which it is hoped will be more appropriate for the islands roads.

The £240,000 bus has a range of 180 miles which was tested by LibertyBus and found to last around a day.

A previous trial of a double-decker electric bus in Jersey came to a halt in 2019 after it broke down twice.

The Metrodecker was taken out of service twice during its trial Credit: ITV Channel

If electric buses were to replace the current diesel bus fleet it would reduce the islands carbon footprint by 3,000 tonnes per year.

In Jersey transport makes up 44% of the island's carbon footprint with nearly 30% coming from road traffic alone. In Guernsey transport equates to nearly a third of emissions.

Guernsey has committed to reducing its emissions to net zero by 2050 and Jersey has an earlier target of 2030.

The Government of Jersey is yet to provide direct investment in electric vehicles and infrastructure and does not intent to subsidise the new electric buses.

No time-frame has been given for when a decision will be made on the new vehicle, but LibertyBus says this is very much a first step in trialing different models to assess their suitability.