Bus supplier leads charge to net zero with eight-figure funding package

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An established Wakefield-based truck and bus supplier has worked with its Chinese partner to import 129 battery electric buses to the UK, with support from an eight-figure HSBC UK funding package.

Pelican Bus and Coach, part of Pelican Engineering Co Ltd, is a 102-year-old family-owned business and is the sole UK and Ireland importer and distributor for Zhengzhou Yutong Bus, a manufacturer of electric buses and coaches, based in China.

Pelican works with Yutong to supply electric zero emission buses to fleet operators throughout the UK and Ireland.

A £30m funding package from HSBC UK has enabled Pelican to source 129 electric buses in quarter three 2021, helping support UK operators to transition from diesel powered to zero emission technology.

The electric buses are destined for use on city centre routes in different cities around the UK.

Scotland’s largest independent bus operator, McGill’s Bus Services, is their largest customer to date taking 55 new E12 single deck buses.

The funding from HSBC UK has generated impressive growth for Pelican, creating 11 new jobs including two new electric vehicle technician apprenticeships at the company’s headquarters in Castleford.

Pelican has partnered with Zenobe Energy to handle the second life of the vehicle batteries when they need replacing mid-way through the buses life.

These batteries have further use on battery storage farms demonstrating the business’s sustainable ambitions beyond the initial life cycle of the bus.

Richard Crump, managing director at Pelican Bus & Coach, said: “As momentum builds for the COP26 conference, we are proud to be one of the UK’s leading providers of clean and sustainable passenger vehicles that will be operating in Glasgow when the event is on.

“Fleet electrification is an important element of our businesses’ growth strategy but more importantly, it is a fundamental step towards achieving our country’s net-zero targets.

“Each zero emission bus saves 1kg of carbon emission for every mile travelled compared to the very latest low emission diesel equivalent, so we’re delighted to play our part to decarbonise the industry further with this deal.

“We thank HSBC UK for supporting us both with this order and continually since our first association with Yutong in 2014.

“Their support has made a huge difference in helping us promote our zero emission buses leading to cleaner urban environments.”

Rob King, HSBC UK’s head of sustainable finance, said: “HSBC has pledged to achieve net zero from our financed portfolio by 2050 and has committed to working with all our clients to help them on their journey to net zero.

“Pelican is a great example of this. We are delighted that the buses will also form part of the COP26 event. Supporting innovations such as this will also help the UK as a whole in the transition to a lower carbon economy.”

Jamie McCullough, corporate relationship director for HSBC UK, North & West Yorkshire, added: “Our long-term relationship with Pelican is a testament to the business’s ongoing commitment to deliver an outstanding service and offer market-leading sustainable technology to bus operators around the UK.

“We are delighted to be supporting Pelican and we hope this funding will back the business to deliver more sustainable transport solutions in the months to come.”

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