Fifty more electric buses added to Coventry city’s fleet
Fifty more green buses have been added to the streets of Coventry, as part of a £150m project to create the UK’s first all-electric bus city by 2025.
Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) has been working with Coventry City Council on the scheme and has secured £50, Department for Transport funding to develop charging infrastructure and to top up the investment being made by bus operators in upgrading their fleets with electric vehicles. This will include upgrades such as charge points at bus depots across Coventry and Warwickshire.
The 50 new National Express Coventry double-decker buses are the first of up to 300 new vehicles due to arrive over the next three years under the ‘Coventry’s Electric’ programme. National Express has also invested over £60m, meaning over a third of its Coventry fleet is now electric, with another 80 committed for early 2023.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Local people are now starting to see these wonderful buses on the streets of Coventry – offering them a quieter, smoother and more comfortable journey.
“As we seek to tackle the climate emergency and maintain our #WM2041 net zero commitment, these British made buses are saving energy, cutting fuel costs for operators and improving our air quality”.
Tom Stables, CEO of National Express UK, added: “Our vision is to become the UK’s most sustainable bus and coach company and it’s been great to see this month’s COP27 putting a real focus on how businesses can play their part in addressing climate change.
“More people using public transport has significant benefits for society including safer roads, increased access to opportunities, reduced congestion, improved air quality and more space in our cities.
TfWM, which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), has also committed to a fully zero-emission region by 2030 in its Bus Service Improvement Plan.
Roads Minister Richard Holden said: “I’m thrilled to see Coventry take another step to becoming the UK’s first all-electric bus city thanks to our £50 million investment to replace the entire city’s bus fleet with new electric buses and install new charging infrastructure.
“The introduction of additional new electric buses by National Express is another crucial milestone towards realising a zero emission bus fleet and level up green transport up and down the country.”
The new British buses, built in Falkirk by Alexander Dennis, are part of a total order by National Express Coventry of 130 ADL E400EVs on a BYD chassis.
Zenobē, EV fleet and battery storage specialist, is providing Electric Transport-as-a-Service (ETaaS) to National Express Coventry with its end-to-end solution. This includes on-board replacement batteries, the charging and grid infrastructure system at the depot, with rapid chargers, and a software platform which helps monitor and optimise energy use, as well as parts and operational support.
The buses produce zero carbon emissions at the tailpipe and are powered by renewable ‘green’ energy thanks to solar panels, and a second-life battery installed at the depot by Zenobē. They take four hours to charge and can run for up to 280 km depending on the time of year.