UK’s first all-electric bus city is Coventry
A £150 million project to create the UK’s first all-electric bus city by 2025 has launched 50 new greener buses on the streets of Coventry.
Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) has worked with Coventry City Council and secured £50 million 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 double-decker buses are the first of up to 300 new vehicles due to arrive over the next three years under ‘Coventry’s Electric’ programme. National Express has also invested over £60 million, leading to over a third of its Coventry fleet being now electric, with another 80 coming early 2023.
Coventry will see improved air quality and reduced greenhouse gases, and passengers will benefit from a fleet of brand new, comfortable and fully accessible buses.
Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Coventry City Council’s cabinet member for jobs, regeneration and climate change, said: “Hitting a milestone of 50 new all-electric vehicles is fantastic and the city is really gearing up to creating the right infrastructure for the increase in zero-emission vehicles.
“A quarter of the council’s fleet are now all-electric, and we have 607 charging points in the city – more than any other city outside of London.”
Tom Stables, CEO 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.
“We’re proud and excited to be leading the way in making Coventry all-electric and are actively recruiting new drivers to join us in the green revolution. Full training is provided and we have recently launched new pay rates of up to £29,500, or more with overtime.”
The city already had 10 all-electric buses operated by National Express so this brings the total number of buses in the city to 60.
Steven Meersman, co-founder and director at Zenobe, said: “We’re delighted to announce that 50 of the 130 new e-buses and charging infrastructure have been delivered and integrated on-time and at pace, and are now out on the roads of Coventry.
“It’s a pleasure to work with innovative partners at Transport for West Midlands and National Express UK to deliver the first Energy Transition as a Service (ETaaS) contract in the electric bus sector, offering a ready-to-go electric bus fleet backed up by operational guarantees, so they can focus on their fantastic customer service and day to day operations.”