Volvo's fully electric single deck bus ' the right hand drive 7900e ' has started a trial in Dartford, Kent following outings in Manchester city centre and at Heathrow Airport.

The launch brings together the 7900e bus and opportunity chargers from Electric Vehicle (EV) charging provider ABB.

Operated by Kent County Council and Arriva, the single deck vehicle will be operating for seven weeks on the Fastrack A Route in Dartford, between Greenhithe and Bluewater.

The OppCharge fast charger will be located outside Greenhithe train station, where the bus will be able to charge en-route within three to six minutes, ending the usual practice of having to charge the bus overnight at the bus station and bringing about the possibility of 24 hour continuous bus service for passengers.

Frank Muehlon, head of ABB's global business for EV charging infrastructure, said: 'We are confident that this trial will continue to demonstrate the huge improvement electric buses can make on the environmental impact of public transport, with this bus delivering up to 80 percent lower energy consumption than its regular diesel equivalent.

'We look forward to working closely with the bus industry and others to bring this exciting technology to all parts of the UK'

ABB chargers are part of the ABB Ability portfolio of digital solutions where cloud connectivity allows for remote diagnosis and management. The service will give Fastrack A passengers the opportunity to use the electric bus as an additional service running alongside the usual timetable. The service will cease on 9th May.

Nick Page, managing director of Volvo Bus, said: 'The 7900e, which is part of the Volvo Electromobility range, has been making great strides throughout Europe with successful operations in Sweden, Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg.

'Our advanced range of vehicles will significantly contribute to improving the environment for those who live, work and visit these places'