Xplore Dundee sets out ‘Mission Zero’

As the eyes of the world are turned on Scotland for the COP26 summit in Glasgow, Xplore Dundee – which is a subsidiary of McGill’s – is highlighting its green credentials – an effort which began nine years ago, with the arrival of Dundee’s first hybrid electric double deckers.  

In May 2013, Xplore Dundee invested nearly £3m in nine electric hybrids – the first buses in Dundee to be able to run on battery power.  Since 2018, air quality has also been boosted by a £7m investment in almost two dozen Emerald double deckers – first for service 22, then for services 5/9| 10. They’re high-spec, low-emission buses which offer a superior travel experience with mod-cons such as WiFi, USB charging, next stop announcements, leather seats and extra legroom.  

With the help of Scottish Government BEAR funding, Xplore Dundee has also brought 40 older buses up to modern standards by retrofitting them with exhaust abatement technology; these are also due for refurbishment during 2022 and 2023, to provide an even better customer experience on the inside as well as the outside.    

Managing Director Christine McGlasson said: “Our focus on low or zero emission is nothing new – for almost a decade we’ve been upgrading our fleet more and more, so that we emit less and less.  Of course, buses only make up around 2% of urban traffic, and the higher capacity of our vehicles means that even our oldest buses are less polluting, on a per-passenger basis, than a typical car. Nevertheless, we’re doing everything we can to bring in more low- and zero-emission vehicles – because, in a crisis, every action counts.   

“In a few short weeks we’ll see the first of our £7m of zero emission Electric Emeralds arriving at the depot and hitting the road before the end of the year. We will be deploying them on service 28, which means the city’s first zero-emission buses will serve Lochee Road, the fourth most polluted street in Scotland. 

“Looking ahead, we are hoping to introduce twelve Hydrogen fuel cell double deck buses as part of a collaboration with a number of partners.  Using zero emission public transport combined with active travel is one of the main ways people can change their habits to help slow global warming, and we’re proud of the role we can play in helping people get out of their cars and back on the bus, to achieve a Net Zero Scotland.”  

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