A BATTERY-electric bus is being trialled in Dorset to demonstrate its zero-emission capabilities.

Bus operator Morebus, part of the Go-Ahead Group, is testing the brand-new double-deck StreetDeck Electroliner.

Wrightbus manufactured the electric bus, which was the first ever to be built.

The trial is taking place over the next fortnight and the bus will operate along the Purbeck Breezer 40 and 50 routes in the south of England, covering areas such as Bournemouth and Poole.

One of the key priorities for the operator is to ensure the bus is able to board the Sandbanks Ferry - which is a much-loved element of the Purbeck Breezer 50 route.

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO at Wrightbus, said: "We are excited to see our zero-emission bus in operation to show everyone what it is capable of. I am sure passengers will enjoy the experience.

“The trial is further evidence of the leading role we are playing on the global stage in tackling climate change through sustainable transport.”

The bus was launched in 2021 and specialises in maximising power and offering class-leading recharge times.

The vehicle has been on a UK-wide tour over the last few years to allow bus operators and local authorities to see it in action and showcase its capabilities.

Richard Wade, Morebus general manager, added: “We are delighted to be trialling a Wrightbus Electroliner on our Purbeck Breezer 40 and 50 services over the coming weeks.

“This follows the bid we recently submitted for funding that would allow us to introduce a new fleet of 10 zero-emission buses to service these popular routes.

“The funding is part of the next phase of the Department for Transport’s ZEBRA (Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas) scheme, and we are testing the electric vehicle in anticipation of a successful bid.

“One of our priorities is to ensure this style of bus is able to board the Sandbanks Ferry. The ramp on the ferry is fairly steep, so we’ll be at the ferry terminal to make sure everything runs smoothly before we can commit to running the bus along this route in the event that we are able to bring the new electric buses to Dorset.

“The bus will be with us for three weeks - giving us a great opportunity to also put it through its paces in service along our Purbeck Breezer 40 route. We hope our customers enjoy travelling on it.”