'I went on one of NCT's new electric buses - sleek, but I felt queasy afterwards'

39 Blue Line single decker bus pulling up to bus stop on Queen Street, Nottingham, with passengers waiting outside
With suave new paintjobs, the Chinese-made buses stand out on Nottingham streets -Credit:Nottingham Post

NottinghamCity Transport's new electric buses exhibit no rumbling engine and produce no exhaust fumes. They've got padded, comfortable seats, an LED timetable and even a temperature gauge on an LCD screen at the front of the bus.

But when I got off the 39 bus after completing the full 40-minute city loop from Queen Street to Carlton Valley and back, through St Ann's, Mapperley and Porchester, I felt slightly nauseated.

I wish I hadn't. The buses themselves appear on the face very modern and sleek. The bright, solid new paintjobs of blue, pink and red stand out amongst the wearing, faded exteriors of the old guard.

As I got on and tapped my card against the electronic screen, it felt like the latest advances in public transport technology would be a good reason to persuade anyone to go green over driving their own cars or getting a taxi to wherver they needed to go.

Interior of 39 Blue Line bus, with seats visible either side of main gangway and LED screen at front
At the front of the bus is a European-style LED display with a timetable and an advert for new drivers -Credit:Nottingham Post

Plus, it's still only £2 for a single journey. It all looked like it was going to go so well when I took my seat towards the back - having, which I'll mention just for comedy's sake, got to the hydraulic doors without realising where I was actually going, so just asked the bus driver to take me to "the end" of the route. He flicked me a bewildered look.

I was impressed - don't get me wrong. When the bus accelerates it's remarkably quiet and smooth- akin to being on a plane when it's in the air.

At the start, on the smoother city roads, I'd hardly have even noticed I was on a bus if I didn't know any better. In front of me, as on every seat, I was greeted with exactly what was promised - a USB and USB-C charger port so I could plug in and stare at my phone like the Millenial I truly am.

Maybe me drafting out words on my iPhone notes app, head down and engrossed, contributed to the sick feeling that accompanied me on the latter half of the journey. But equally, it could've been something else.

Despite the modern improvements, the new buses appear to retain the bump and trundle of their predecessors while navigating speed bumps and bobbly road surfaces. And air conditioning, while a welcome feature for many, is no comparison to fresh air.

Alternatively, the electric of the bus itself may have been to blame. The Economic Times of India reports that electric vehicles can aggravate motion sickness by "upsetting passengers' balance" with low-frequency braking and the removal of the "soothing" vibrations of engines.

Others have reported online feeling or even being sick after a journey in an electric car. I'd need more than one journey - and at least one where I wasn't sitting so close to the back - to verify it wasn't just a one-off.

But maybe once these are the norm - which may be a fair distance away in the future - we'll also be used to it enough to stop those symptoms once and for all. Introduced on April 8, NCT has rolled out 24 electric buses - all single decker - into its fleet.

They are the Pink 30, Blue 39, Red 50, Green 11, Blue 40/X and Blue 41 and 42. A second batch of 24 single deckers will leave the depot in early 2025.

These buses may take some getting used to, but they're clean and spacious - the buggy bays have been increased in size and there's extra leg room between seats - and there’s even a train-style voiceover with helpful instructions as to where to alight for certain attractions. And, with zero emissions, for the benefit of planet Earth, should I really be complaining?