County’s first electric bus helps local disabled and vulnerable
26th June 2019
FROM next week, disabled and vulnerable people in Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge will be able to travel around in Kent’s first electric minibus.
Provided by disabled charity, Compaid, the specially adapted all-electric Renault Master ZE will collect passengers from Tunbridge Wells and take them to the charity’s Paddock Wood training centre, to medical appointments, or take them shopping.
Compaid Chief Executive Stephen Elsden, said: “Electromobility is a key part of our sustainable transport solution which is now in reach as the cost of electric vehicles falls and battery range improves.
“We are delighted to be the first organisation in Kent to put it to the test. We operate door to door, stop-start – it’s the kind of work that will drain a poor battery fast, so the Master ZE’s proven real world range is fit for the job in hand.”
He added that the minibus not only has zero emissions, but also the quietness of the electric motor reduces noise pollution, allowing passengers to take part in conversation while travelling, rather than trying to talk over engine noise.
Kent County Council’s [KCC] deputy cabinet member for highways, transportation and the environment, Michael Payne, said: “This is not just a first for Tonbridge and Malling, it is a first for Europe to be using the Master Z.E.
“We believe the future is green and the future is electric, and I’m pleased to say the future is here.
“It’s not just an electric minibus; however, this vehicle has been converted to be fully accessible for everyone in and around the Paddock Wood area and this trial will help KCC prove the viability of electric vehicles.”