THE Optare Solo EV has spent the last month on trial with Brighton-based bus company Big Lemon.

Big Lemon MD Norman Baker has praised the new electric bus.

He said: “Our mission is to enable everyone to get around their community in an affordable, enjoyable and environmentally-sustainable way and it would seem the Solo EV has delivered just that.

“We have been extremely impressed with the Solo EV and all our drivers have loved driving it.

“The feedback from passengers has been extremely positive with many commenting how quiet, comfortable and smooth the Solo EV is.”

It has been developed by Optare, a British manufacturer of urban buses with a modern assembly facility near Leeds employing more than 300 people.

Its award-winning range of buses feature an integral design and efficient diesel engines plus an industry-leading choice of electric units utilising the latest low carbon technology.

Commercial director Robert Drewery said: “There are now over 100 Optare electric buses in service in the UK and Europe.

“As a manufacturer, we remain committed to working with local authorities and operators to deliver sustainable transport solutions that improve air quality in our towns and cities.

“I am delighted that the Solo EV has been such a hit with Big Lemon.”

This successful trail of the Optare Solo EV is followed by the news this week that Big Lemon have been awarded government funding towards three new electric buses under the Department for Transport’s Low emission bus scheme.

Tom Druitt, chief executive of Big Lemon, said: “It’s fantastic news. We only found out on Friday so it was a great way to end the week.”

He said the company put in a bid when the government launched its Low Emission Bus Scheme in 2015. On that occasion the Big Lemon was not successful.