Leading British bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) presents two buses at this year’s Busworld exhibition in Kortrijk, where it is exhibiting for the first time. The Enviro200 and Enviro500 models illustrate the design and quality of ADL’s best-selling lightweight single deck and double deck buses. ADL is committed to bring its global expertise and add value to the European market.
As part of its sustainable medium and long term growth strategy, ADL made a strategic decision to enter the mainland European market.
Identifying a gap in the market for double deck buses that are designed for city or regional operation rather than derived from coaches, ADL is bringing to Europe its unique worldwide experience in tailoring vehicles to local requirements. Swiss national operator PostAuto became the trailblazer when it ordered 19 Enviro500 three-axle double deck buses, the first of which were delivered this year.
“We see potential for growth of the double deck bus market in continental Europe,” says ADL Chief Executive Colin Robertson. “From our global experience we know how double deck buses can get people to switch their commute from cars as they offer an unsurpassed passenger experience with comfortable, forward facing seats, USB charging, WiFi and a whole host of other amenities.”
ADL is working with operators to demonstrate ridership growth potential through the use of double and single deck buses.
“We want to create added value for operators as well as passengers, city dwellers and the wider environment, so rather than rushing out a prototype we initially discuss the potential benefits with operators and learn how we can help solve their operational challenges. We will keep proven concepts, such as the relentless drive for efficiency with best in class fuel economy, while reflecting continental practice where necessary,” says Colin.
ADL is known throughout its established markets for its class-leading aftermarket support, and market entry in continental Europe will be phased to ensure that all vehicles are fully supported by the company’s comprehensive aftersales services. These now include the powerful AD Connected tool which allows engineers to better plan maintenance and further reduces the Enviro family’s low total cost of ownership.
Enviro500: A global favourite
The Enviro500 is ADL’s internationally successful three-axle double deck bus, complementing the two-axle Enviro400 that is primarily aimed at the UK market. The Enviro500 is a modular platform that can be built in different heights and lengths to suit local requirements throughout the world.
Over 6,000 Enviro500 and predecessor models have been built to date. Recent major contracts include an ongoing supply of more than 250 Enviro500 SuperLo – only 3.91 metres tall to fit work with existing infrastructure, bus depots and bridges – for Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area transit agency Metrolinx in Canada, and 90 Enviro500 for Mexico City, where they are about to become the world’s first double deck buses used as part of a Bus Rapid Transit system. Hong Kong, where ADL has held 80% of the market in recent years, continues to be a strong market for the Enviro500 with new orders comprising 288 buses for Kowloon Motor Bus and a further 140 for New World First Bus.
The Enviro500 is represented at Busworld by a customer vehicle for PostAuto of Switzerland. This is the third bus out of PostAuto’s order for 19. The first two have been in service since this summer.
ADL has built buses to different lengths and heights around the world and used its engineering pedigree to develop a vehicle that matched European legal requirements as well as those of the operator, resulting in a vehicle 13 metres long and exactly 4 metres tall.
The bus has three doors and two staircases, with the rear staircase leading directly to the rear set of doors to facilitate quick boarding and alighting. There are 78 seats in the air-conditioned interior.
Enviro200: The world’s best-selling lightweight single decker
The Enviro200 is the world’s best-selling lightweight single-deck bus. Over 18,000 have been sold since its predecessor was first launched in 1989.
It combines a steel chassis with a welded aluminium body. The resulting low unladen weight – just 8.5 tonnes for an air-conditioned 12 metre bus – makes the Enviro200 highly fuel efficient.
The lightweight and manoeuvrable Enviro200 is built in lengths from 9 to 12.8 metres and is the ideal solution for space constrained city applications. It is a ‘low entry’ vehicle with step free access at both doors. The Enviro200’s short rear overhang maximises the amount of flat floor available between its axles.
The bus on display at Busworld is a 10.5 metre example specified according to Transport for London’s standards and will join the fleet of Dutch Railways-owned Abellio. It exemplifies the several thousand buses built by ADL which serve the world-class bus network of the British capital.
There are many features not included in the London specification that are optionally available which have been introduced by ADL in cooperation with progressive British and international bus operators, many of these have been proven to contribute to substantial increases in ridership. These include social seating with a rear ‘sofa lounge’ or face to face tables, high backed seating with integrated passenger amenities, USB power ports, WiFi router, skylight roof glazing and even backlit operator logos on the exterior front dash.
Different models of driver–passenger interaction can be specified with open cabs and glazed cab rear partitions, while interior cleaning can be simplified with cantilevered seating.
Already meeting the Euro 6 emissions standard, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions can be further reduced with SmartPack, a driveline efficiency package combining electric cooling and smart accessories where alternators and compressors only draw power when the engine is in coast. An engine stop-start function also is available. The Euro 6 driveline with SmartPack has been proven in real life application to reduce CO2 emission and fuel consumption by over 15% compared with a Euro 5 vehicle of the same length and passenger specification.
Plaxton Elitei: The ideal express coach
In addition to the single and double deck buses of the Enviro family, ADL offers the Plaxton Elitei interdeck coach in a left hand drive version for continental Europe.
With up to 75 passenger seats and 15 cubic metres of luggage space, this vehicle is the ideal solution for long distance scheduled coach services. The interdeck concept maximises revenue opportunities through its high passenger capacity. Wheelchair passengers are able to board easily without needing to use a lift.
45 of these stylish express coaches are already operating on the PolskiBus.com network, serving destinations throughout Poland and neighbouring countries.