Stagecoach and SSE announce pilot electric charging hub initiative

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Partnership looks to allow non-bus fleets to take advantage of depot charging infrastructure whilst its buses are out in service

Stagecoach and renewable energy supplier SSE are pooling their collective expertise to pilot a new community electric vehicle charging hub to drive Scotland on the road to net zero. Under the plans Stagecoach bus depots, which SSE Energy Solutions provide the EV infrastructure for, could become available to other fleet users such as logistics companies when buses are out on service.

Since the buses are normally out on the road from around 0700hrs to 1900hrs and charged overnight, the charging infrastructure is potentially free and available during the day for other electric vehicles. The partners said that this approach could assist efforts to create a network of rapid charging hubs for fleets which travel across the country, further helping efforts to decarbonise the transport sector.

Transport produced over a quarter of the UK’s total carbon emissions before the pandemic, with 91% coming from road transport vehicles. The biggest contributors to this were cars and taxis, accounting for 61% of the emissions from road transport, while a total of 35% is from HGVs and vans.

Sam Greer, Stagecoach Regional Director for Scotland, said: “We are delighted to be launching a pilot of the community charging hub concept in partnership with SSE, two companies with strong commitments to delivering on Scotland’s net zero ambitions. Electric charging infrastructure is a significant investment and there is a real opportunity to maximise the benefit of the technology by making facilities available to other fleet users, such as logistics companies. As well as helping accelerate decarbonisation, it would complement the wider opportunities beyond technology to cut carbon emissions from the transport sector and reduce local air pollution through a shift away from cars to more sustainable public transport, cycling and walking.”

Kevin Welstead, EV Sector Director of SSE Energy Solutions, said: “We think this is a game changing idea with the potential to really accelerate Scotland’s journey to net zero. COP26 coming to Scotland is a vivid reminder that we need to get more green and clean transport on our roads, and we believe a network of EV community hubs could hold the key to doing just that.”

The location for the new community charging hub pilot will be announced later this year.

SSE will deliver the charging infrastructure for Stagecoach’s new e-buses being introduced later this year at its depots in Aberdeen and Perth. STAGECOACH