Equipmake welcomes new ScotZEB Phase 2 grants for repowered buses

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Equipmake released details at ITT Hub of a new repower solution for the Wrightbus StreetDeck. RICHARD SHARMAN

Equipmake has welcomed the opening of the latest Scottish Zero Emissions Bus Challenge Fund (ScotZEB), which offers the opportunity to reduce the price of a repowered bus by up to £50,000, with companies like Equipmake which offer repowering of existing diesel vehicles with electric drivetrains, eligible to bid for support alongside local authorities and operators under Phase 2 of the scheme.

CEO of Equipmake Ian Foley said: “The confirmation that the latest round of ScotZEB funding will assist with the purchase price of a repowered bus by up to £50,000 is fantastic news. This innovative initiative will enable fleets to go electric quickly and even more cost-effectively, helping them bridge the gap between diesel and a new electric bus fleet.

“We welcome the opening of applications for ScotZEB Phase 2 funding, news which will not only speed up the transition to a zero-emission bus fleet in Scotland but also support the growth of jobs in UK-wide, including at Equipmake.”

As well as bringing environmental benefits, Equipmake says its repower programme makes sense from a cost perspective, with each conversion coming in at less than a third of the price of a new electric bus with the new ScotZEB grant included. With most buses expected to remain in service for 14 years or beyond, the firm believes that operators can still make significant efficiencies by repowering a bus halfway through its working life.

Ian continued: “By repowering buses with electric power, the technology exists to bring cleaner air to towns and cities very rapidly indeed. The Scottish Government is to be praised for ScotZEB Phase 2 and we now call on the UK Government to outline an electric bus strategy that will see the purchase price of a repowered electric bus incentivised in England and Wales.

“The opportunity is clear for all to see. Repowering the drivetrains of existing buses with electric technology at scale can rapidly and dramatically reduce pollution and provide the UK bus industry with a much-needed shot in the arm. The UK Government must seize the initiative and make it happen. Contributing to conversions would be an ideal way of doing so.”