First, Octopus Energy & Hitachi team up for COP26 green transport event

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An event will highlight how bus depots can be transformed into fleet charging hubs accelerating the transition to zero-emission fleets, with immersive virtual reality and a cinema experience showing the future of transport

Seats are filling up aboard the COP26 ‘Together for Our Planet’ showcase hosted by First Bus, Octopus Energy and Hitachi Europe – principal partner of COP26.

The immersive event is being held on weekdays from 1 to 11 November, with the First Bus Caledonia Depot being transformed into a ‘futuristic hub’ set in 2035. It is also home to an EV rapid charging facility, free to all attending delegates. The chargers, which can replenish an average family EV in around 30 minutes, are available to all on a first-come-first-serve basis, with bookable charging slots for VIPs. The event will send delegates and guests into the future through the world of virtual reality, and the space will also host a drive-in cinema for those charging EV vehicles.

The collaboration will show how First Bus, with additional investment from Transport Scotland, is transforming its bus depot into one of the UK’s largest electric fleet charging stations. It will be accessible through the Octopus Energy’s Electric Juice Network and has the potential for over 150 vehicles to be quickly recharged at a time.

First Glasgow will also operate a shuttle service between the green zone and the depot as well as between the site and the city centre. The showcase will host key speakers and guests from the energy and transport sectors, as well as climate experts.
Alongside the main trio, exhibitors include Transform Scotland and Heliox. Also taking part is the Climate Café, a collaboration between Climate Reality – a campaign group founded by former US Vice President Al Gore – and local sustainable drinks company Dear Green Coffee serving up hot eco-friendly drinks as well as treats from a local zero-waste baker.

Mike Nugent, Head of EV at Hitachi Europe, said: “As a Principal Partner of COP26, Hitachi is proud to support First Bus in delivering their rapid EV charging Hub. Our Zero Carbon initiative and partnership with First Bus is at the heart of our Environment Strategy and sets the benchmark for decarbonised transport in the UK.

“Working with First Bus, we will deliver a bus decarbonisation programme and place the electric bus depot at the heart of the local community, through the delivery of charging and electrification services. The EV charging hub is one example of how we are aiming to deliver new community services and regeneration opportunities through the electrification programme.”

Andrew Jarvis, Portfolio Managing Director for First Bus said, “First Bus is delighted to be playing host to such a prestigious event and it is an honour taking part in the COP26 Together for our Planet campaign.The eyes of the world will be focused on Glasgow for the next few weeks and so it is great to be able to share our ambitions for the future of public transport and the role is has to play in meeting our collective climate challenge targets. As leaders in sustainable mobility, First Bus is fully aligned with the Government’s ambitions for a net zero carbon transport system, including zero-emission bus fleets. We have already committed to achieving this by 2035 and we look forward to showcasing this to delegates over the course of the event.”

First Glasgow’s Caledonia Depot will become a rapid EV charging hub offering delegates and guests free rapid state-of-the-art chargers for their electric vehicles. FIRST