Further investment in First Bus’ Glasgow electric fleet follows the successful operation of two BYD ADL Enviro200EVs that joined the fleet in January 2020
First Bus, Alexander Dennis (ADL) and BYD UK are collaborating on a £9m investment to deliver 22 new BYD ADL Enviro200EV electric single-deck buses in time for the UN COP26 climate change conference, which will be held in the city in November, ahead of further planned electrification of the First Bus fleet in the city.
First Glasgow is investing over £5m alongside an award for £4m as part of Transport Scotland’s Scottish Ultra Low Emission Bus Scheme.Scottish Power Energy Networks will also be providing over £300k in contributions to the project from its Green Economy Fund, which will go toward the electrical infrastructure needed to charge the vehicles at First Glasgow’s Caledonia Depot.
The new battery-electric buses will be 11.6m long and seat up to 40 passengers each, and will be based at Caledonia depot. Some charging points had already been installed at the depot as part of an earlier project, which saw a pair of similar buses introduced at the start of 2020, giving the company experience in the operation of electric buses.
In 2020, First announced its commitment to purchase no diesel buses after 2022 and to operate a fully zero-emission fleet by 2035. Andrew Jarvis, Managing Director for First Bus in Scotland, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this funding. Cleaner air is vitally important to all of us in society and we are determined to play our part in the communities that we serve. In January last year, we launched the city’s first electric buses on a commercial bus route since the 1960s and we are proud that we can now build upon this with another 22 fully electric vehicles, which will replace the oldest buses in our fleet to further improve air quality in the city of Glasgow. We have led the way with bus operators in Glasgow as a key partner with Glasgow City Council for the country’s first ever LEZ roll-out and we have ambitious plans to help accelerate this process and make up for lost time due to the pandemic.”
ADL President & Managing Director Paul Davies added: “COP26 will be a showcase of Britain’s commitment to fighting climate change, and First’s new electric buses will be a testament to the initiative taken by the transport group to achieve a zero-emission fleet by 2035. Built in Scotland, these electric buses for Glasgow keep Scottish Government investment in the country to maximise the benefit to our communities, underpinning jobs and developing skills in clean vehicle technology.”
Frank Thorpe, Managing Director at BYD UK, commented: “Once again we have a high profile operator in a major British city making a firm commitment to eMobility. With BYD battery technology at the heart of these vehicles, First Bus can look forward to clean, reliable and efficient operation for years to come.”