Stagecoach is introducing a further 46 new fully electric buses representing an investment of £21.4m across Scotland as part of its drive to improve air quality and support the Scottish Government’s environmental targets.
The order for new electric buses follows today’s announcement by Scottish Government of additional funding being awarded through a second round of the Scottish Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme.
The initiative helps bus companies invest in electric vehicles and associated infrastructure to support a green recovery out of the coronavirus pandemic, improve air quality and advance Scotland’s ambitions for a net-zero economy.
Scottish Government has set a legally binding target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2045.
Transport has a critical role to play in the economy reaching net zero, as rising car use has resulted in a rise in carbon emissions from the sector. Stagecoach has recently announced that it is targeting a zero-emissions bus fleet by 2035.
Funding has been awarded to bus operators following a competitive bidding process with Scottish Government investing £8.9m from its grant scheme in the new Stagecoach buses.
The new electric bus order is made up of:22 electric double-decker ADL E400 buses for use in Aberdeen City15 electric single-decker ADL E200 buses for use on Kilmarnock Town Services 3, 6 and 79 electric single-decker ADL E200 single-deckers for use in Perth on bus routes 1 and 2.
The investment provides a boost for Scotland’s world-leading bus manufacturing sector, helping to protect and grow jobs in Scotland. The new buses will all be built in Falkirk by leading independent global bus manufacturer ADL in partnership with BYD, the company’s partner for electric buses in the UK and Ireland.
The award from Scottish Government also includes funding for electric infrastructure for depots.
Stagecoach is partnering with Scottish-headquartered low carbon energy company SSE to deliver the new electrical infrastructure needed in Aberdeen and Perth depots.
Sam Greer, Regional Director for Stagecoach in Scotland, said: “Sustainable public transport is critical to the future of our planet: decarbonising local journeys, reducing road congestion, improving air quality and tackling climate change. We welcome today’s announcement by Scottish Government of additional funding to support the roll out of 46 new electric buses in Scotland.“
“This major investment will also provide a boost for Scotland’s world-leading bus manufacturing sector, helping to protect and grow jobs in Scotland. As major investment is made in zero and low emission buses, it also enables us to build further on developing in skills and training for our engineering teams to maintain the new greener fleet as we transition to new zero emission technologies.“
“As Scotland gears up to host the COP 26 climate change summit in November, it’s a crucial time for us all to think about how we can help deliver a greener recovery from Covid-19. Major investment in new zero-emission buses also needs to be matched by better road infrastructure and more bus priority measures to help encourage people to make the switch from car to sustainable public transport.”
Over the past decade, Stagecoach has invested more than £1 billion in 7,000 new greener vehicles – more than any other operator in the UK – including electric, hybrid electric and hydrogen and bio-fuel technologies.
Paul Davies, ADL President & Managing Director, said: “This substantial order of new electric buses continues Stagecoach’s track record of strong investment in cleaner buses. We look forward to working closely with Stagecoach to get these new buses onto the roads of Aberdeen, Perth and Kilmarnock at pace.“
These zero emission buses will be built at our factory in Falkirk and it is great news for Scotland that this investment is being recycled into the local economy, allowing the benefits to be felt across our communities whilst helping to underpin skilled jobs.”
Kevin Welstead EV Sector for SSE Enterprise said: “SSE Enterprise is delighted to partner with Stagecoach to help them deliver their planned bus electrification programme across Scotland. Ensuring that we provide this and the next generation with clean and green public transport is a priority for us – especially with COP26 coming to Glasgow this year, of which we are proud to be a major sponsor.”
Independent research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) published last year shows that Stagecoach delivers cleaner communities and annually saves £12.4million in emissions impact costs, which could power 9,800 homes for a year.
Without Stagecoach bus services, there would be an annual increase of 190,000 tonnes of CO2 through passengers using alternative transport, mainly cars. Some £343 million in potential congestion-related savings are also delivered by Stagecoach through a reduction of 1.22 billion miles of traffic.