The city of Oxford’s drive to achieve net zero by 2040 has been given a boost with the launch of new electric buses for Oxford Bus Company’s BrookesBus services. The new Wrightbus Electroliner double-deckers were unveiled by the university and its transport partners at an event at Oxford Brookes University’s Headington Campus on Thursday 16 November.
The buses, which are owned and operated by Oxford Bus Company on behalf of the university, will replace an existing fleet of diesel buses and will prevent up to an estimated 850 tonnes of CO2 emissions being released into Oxford per year.
The new BrookesBus fleet will provide Oxford’s first electric bus service and consists of 21 buses, which are expected to be in service by the end of the year. All of the energy used to charge the buses is planned to be from renewable sources.
Speaking at the event, Professor Alistair Fitt, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes, said: “The launch of these new, fully electric BrookesBuses is an important step towards our ambition of delivering net zero by 2040, something we know is very important to our students, staff and wider community. We are also very proud that these new buses will be charged from renewable sources.
“We recognise the critical role that the BrookesBus service plays for students, staff and the city’s community and visitors. In 2022, for instance, we amalgamated the service with some of Oxford’s local park & ride services and provided a much-needed bus route from Blackbird Leys to the University.
“We know the impact of the cost of living on students’ lives. That is why I am particularly excited that this new cleaner bus service offers free journeys for the vast majority of our students.”
Managing Director of Oxford Bus Company Luke Marion said: “It’s fantastic to see the first BrookesBus branded electric vehicles arrive as part of our exciting journey towards delivering an all-electric fleet of city buses. Oxford Brookes University is equally committed to using innovation to enhance sustainability and we’re proud to deliver this milestone for our community via our long-standing partnership.
“Our investment in net zero vehicles and the associated infrastructure will further help improve air quality and make bus travel an even more sustainable option for Brookes students, staff, and the wider public to travel around Oxford.”
CEO of Wrightbus Jean-Marc Gales added: “We are delighted to be working with Oxford Brookes and the Oxford Bus Company in their commitment to offering zero-emission public transport in the city and can’t wait to see even more of our buses in operation.”