The Sustainable Bus Update: Volume 12
Volume 12 of the Sustainable Bus Update sees First Bus take on a big development project for one of its hubs in Scotland, while operator Keolis has expanded its electric network in Europe.
First Bus to transform Caledonia depot into EV charging hub
Work has begun on a new project by First Bus that will transform its Glasgow Caledonia bus depot into the UK’s largest electric vehicle (EV) charging hub. The plans are another major step forward in the leading transport operator’s sustainable travel agenda and follows their pledge to only invest in low and zero-emission vehicles from December 2022, with a 100 percent zero-emission fleet by 2035.
With phased completion scheduled across the next 18 months, the redeveloped Caledonia depot, already the UK’s largest bus depot, will have space to charge up to 300 EV buses on site. The first phase of the project, now underway, will see 11 dual DC rapid charging units installed.
Keolis given Gothenburg electric bus contract
Keolis’ subsidiary in Sweden, Keolis Sverige, has been awarded a new contract by Västraffik, Gothenburg’s public transport authority, to operate and maintain an articulated fully electric bus fleet in the north-eastern part of the city. The ten-year contract, worth €150 million, will come into force in June 2022.
The network features two lines and will carry 17 million passengers per year. The articulated electric buses are expected to cover 2.9 million kilometres annually.
Keolis says the e-buses can be charged at three depots across the network, all of which will be adapted and equipped with overnight charging facilities.
Dublin unveils three new hydrogen fuel cell buses
The National Transport Authority (NTA) of Ireland in conjunction with Bus Éireann has unveiled three new hydrogen fuel cell electric double-decker buses that will initially be used on commuter services in the Greater Dublin Area.
The three vehicles were recently purchased by the NTA and will go into service next week on Bus Éireann’s route 105X, which runs between Dublin and Ratoath, County Meath.
The buses will be subject to in-service evaluation as part of an alternative fuels technology pilot being undertaken by the NTA in collaboration with Bus Éireann.
Birmingham City Council unveils first hydrogen bus
Birmingham City Council has unveiled the first of its 20 new hydrogen buses, which are set to be in operation later in 2021.
The new buses have been purchased as part of the Council’s Clean Air Hydrogen Bus Pilot, which looks to ‘kick-start’ the hydrogen market as a viable zero-emission fuel. They have been hailed as another solution to tackling the city’s poor air quality and a key step towards achieving the council’s net zero carbon target.
The buses – which are made by Wrightbus – will be operated in Birmingham by National Express, the first in England (outside of London).