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First Orders 2014/15
First Orders 2014/15
Hello All

The First bus order for 2014/15 has been announced, and is as follows:

274 Wrightbus StreetLite Micro Hybrid
60 Alexander Dennis Enviro400
27 Alexander Dennis Enviro200
27 Wrightbus Streetlites
15 Optare Solo SR
6 Optare Versa EV
6 Plaxton Coaches (Volvo based)

I had a feeling First would order more StreetLites, but not this many in one go! LOL

BusandCoach.com Article

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Formerly MX59 JZJ
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RE: First Orders 2014/15
(17/01/2014 17:08)MX59 JZJ Wrote:  I had a feeling First would order more StreetLites, but not this many in one go! LOL

BusandCoach.com Article
Maybe not that many but more were always on the cards. They have had one already with the Micro Hybrid thing fitted which is apparently good for a 10% saving. The Streetlite Max is also considerably lighter than a Volvo, Scania or whatever but can still carry 70 passengers.

Lightweight full-size single-deckers are the future of the market. Heavy duty versions such as the B8RLE and K230 are destined to become niche vehicles soon, as this order shows.
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RE: First Orders 2014/15
Good to see Streetlite getting another big order,always preferred them to the Enviro200.The Deckers im guessing will go to Scotland for Commonwealth Games.With this amount of Midi/Single Deckers ordered i think this will be enough to withdraw all the Non-DDA Dennis Darts & maybe start getting rid of the Early Solos from some fleets
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RE: First Orders 2014/15
Good news for the UK bus building industry.
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RE: First Orders 2014/15
(17/01/2014 19:27)DVL418 Wrote:  Good news for the UK bus building industry.

It is. MPTE - I agree, I am a massive fan of the StreetLite and it's great to see it has found favour with First. Hopefully Arriva order some more soon as well.

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RE: First Orders 2014/15
A welcomed order! Not completely unexpected, as it follows on from last years Streetlite order, and First have hundreds of R/S/T reg plate vehicles that need replacing.

I must admit I am disappointed at the lack of double deckers, also I really like the B7RLE Eclipses and I have heard that the Streetlite is flimsy compared to it.

The Hybrid components in these vehicles are very interesting, I wonder if having a real hybrid is not cost effective enough.
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RE: First Orders 2014/15
(17/01/2014 23:12)Polo Mint Wrote:  I must admit I am disappointed at the lack of double deckers, also I really like the B7RLE Eclipses and I have heard that the Streetlite is flimsy compared to it.

It makes a lot of sense though, having a very large single/midi order for 2014/2015 to remove most of the non-DDA single deck buses before the 2016 deadline, replacing any remaining non-DDA singles early on the 2015/2016 order. It'd seem likely and logical that First would therefore have a large double deck 2015/2016 order to remove non-DDA deckers for the 2017 deadline.

I'd imagine the lack of Volvos on the order (other than the 6 coaches) could be down to the order being for Euro5 vehicles, and Volvo only taking orders for the Euro6 B5TL/B8RLE now. As Optare, Wrightbus and ADL are UK manufacturers they can continue manufacturing Euro5 chassis'/integral buses for 2014 only, as part of the UK National Small Series Type Approval, which allows those 3 manufacturers to build no more than 250 of each type as Euro5 vehicles. Volvo, Scania and MAN etc have to work to the EU regulations of Euro6 only.
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RE: First Orders 2014/15
The large order for Streetlite Hybrids is indeed quite a surprise, not even being typical Streetlites. I gather that some remaining Olympians, such as those I rode in Plymouth and Taunton last April, have either already been withdrawn or were just top-ups to full-size single-deckers anyway.

I have been on a full-size Streetlite in Sheffield, but have yet to ride a shorter 47000 example anywhere.

I wonder incidentally whether the Versas are intended for a specific route? I suddenly notice the absence of any more Enviro300s after plenty have been delivered for Scotland, Manchester and a Welsh Park & Ride service recently!
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RE: First Orders 2014/15
The Versas, I think, are for a route in York, or that's what I've heard.

Even with this order, First are still going to have their work cut out in removing non-DDA buses from their fleets. The StreetLite order will probably be dominated by the 11.5m version which will enable them to remove a lot of older Scanias and B10BLEs where they remain, but they're going to struggle to get rid of all the older Darts which aren't DDA, and there are quite a lot of them. Not only this but most of the older Darts First run have been worked almost to death and DDA or not require pretty urgent replacement.

The Solo fleet is another one which is going to require attention sooner rather than later as the earlier ones are well past their sell-by date and have comfortably exceeded Optare's 12-year expected life.

425 buses isn't bad but they need more than that. I would imagine that plenty of non-DDA kit that still has life left in it will be converted to satisfy the regulations as some early B7TLs have been already.
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RE: First Orders 2014/15
(17/01/2014 23:12)Polo Mint Wrote:  ...also I really like the B7RLE Eclipses and I have heard that the Streetlite is flimsy compared to it.

The Hybrid components in these vehicles are very interesting, I wonder if having a real hybrid is not cost effective enough.
Wrights claims the Streetlite is good for an 18-year life. Whether it is or not, nobody will know for quite some time, but even if it lasts for only 14-15 years, the whole life costs taking into account lower purchase price and reduced fuel consumption - further enhanced by the Micro Hybrid - will make it a much more efficient vehicle to run than a B8RLE, K230 or whatever else.

Full hybrid as in an E400H or B5LH is, at the moment, nowhere near an economically viable product without the government's contribution in the form of Green Bus Fund money. If GBF dried up and was never seen again it is quite likely that with the exception of specific contracts where the hybrid's huge additional cost was built into the tender price, you wouldn't see another one sold outside London.

Battery replacement costs are another elephant in the room as far as hybrid goes.
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