click above for a high res gallery of the Optare Solo EV
British bus builder Optare last week held a demonstration drive of its new Solo EV electric bus at the Millbrook proving ground in central England. The Solo EV is based on the company's standard Solo urban bus platform but the diesel powertrain has been replaced with an all electric one. Optare's chairman is one Roy Stanley, who also happens to hold the same position at the Tanfield Group, parent of Smith Electric Vehicles. As such, it's no surprise to find that the Solo EV uses the same type of lithium iron phosphate batteries that can be found in Smith's trucks. The bus uses a pair of battery packs with a total capacity of 80 kWh along with a 120 kW AC induction motor. There is no indication when the Solo EV will be available for purchase or how much it will cost. Optare also hasn't said what the range will be, although for urban use it will hopefully be adequate. Thanks to Stan for the tip!