TECHNOLOGY used in Formula E is coming to the streets of Cumnock.

Stagecoach are piloting a new electric bus on the 49A service between Logan and Craigens.

The new bus is one of the first steps to making Cumnock Scotland’s first green town and, if the pilot is successful, the electric buses could be rolled out further afield.

Gary Hamilton, Stagecoach’s engineering manager, said: “It’s a fully electric public service vehicle. It takes six hours to recharge from empty to full and the range is about 140 miles on average.

“Your electric car works the same way, in Formula E it’s electric and it’s the exact same.”

The pilot got underway on Saturday, December 15, and Stagecoach will have staff on board to find out the service user’s thoughts on the electric bus.

Electric buses produce no harmful emissions and are expected to last up to three years longer than a diesel or petrol bus.

Gary added: “The difference for us is that it’s zero emissions. Maintenance-wise, it will be less as well. There’s not going to be an impact on breaks and there’s no gearbox and it should last longer than your normal diesel aspirated vehicle.”

When the driver eases off the accelerator, the bus uses the power of the electric motor to itself slow down resulting in a smoother ride.

After a trip on the bus, Cumnock and New Cumnock Councillor Jim McMahon said: “Because you’ve got no gear change it’s very quiet and it’s smoother so it’s a far more comfortable ride than what it would be in your normal bus.

“We are moving forward to Cumnock becoming the first green town in Scotland. It ties in with everything I’m looking for and the direction of travel that I am going down myself with the electric car.”. It’s great to see an electric bus coming in. Hopefully it’s the first of many. It should make a big difference and obviously environmentally it’s going to have a big impact.”

MSP Jeane Freeman added: “I think this is a great opportunity for Cumnock. We want Cumnock to be an energy efficient town. We are moving in that direction and Stagecoach are piloting here is a real opportunity.”

“I hope people enjoy it and tell the drivers and Stagecoach how they find the experience. It’s comfortable, it’s quiet and it’ll be a real bonus for Cumnock I think.”