Optare Ashok Leyland Scoops Britain s Automotive Innovation Award

Optare plc, a subsidiary of Ashok Leyland, has won the most prestigious annual award for innovation in the UK automotive industry. Optare s Versa EV, the all-electric fast charging bus, beat tough competition frommany of the leading names in automotive design and technology from across Britain, notably the Jaguar Land Rover, to win the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) Award for Automotive Innovation 2012.


Optare sCEO, JimSumner and ChiefTechnicalOfficer,Glenn Saint jointly received the award at a glittering event at London s Grosvenor House hotel, attended by leading politicians and motor industry business leaders. Speaking at the event, Sumner said, On behalf of all our employees at Optare, it gives me immense pride to collect this very prestigious award, which is the

culmination of three years of hard work by the team. We passionately believe that the future of the bus industry lies in EVs and that Optare's demonstrated market leadership will be sustained in the years to come as zero emission technology takes off."


Optare is the only producer of full-size, commercially viable, battery-powered buses in the UK, which are manufactured at its modern assembly plant at Sherburn-in-Elmet in Yorkshire. The technology is now available to be exploited elsewhere in Europe and further afield by Ashok Leyland s international sales network.


The Versa EV is the largest of Optare s range of electric buses and is capable of carrying in excess of 50 passengers. Along with smaller Solo and Solo SR all-electric models, Optare electric buses have been running for up to three years in revenue earning service in Durham, Dorchester (Poundbury), Nottingham, Coventry and at London s HeathrowAirport. In all of these places, the zero emissions and low noise of these vehicles are contributing to increased passenger acceptance and a cleaner and quieter local environment.

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