Transdev Blazefield commits £21 million to new electric bus order

Posted: 21 August 2023 | | No comments yet

A total of 39 new electric buses from two suppliers have been ordered to support Transdev Blazefield’s efforts to fully electrify its fleet in Harrogate.

Transdev Blazefield commits £21 million to new electric bus order

Credit: Transdev Blazefield - The new buses will work alongside the company's existing eight Harrogate Electrics-branded single deck vehicles: Volvo 7900E 803 (BV18 XZC) is seen here at Harrogate Bus Station.

Transdev Blazefield – the North of England bus operator – has confirmed that it has placed orders worth £21 million for 39 new buses and to equip its depot to convert its entire Harrogate fleet to fully electric power.

The orders are supported by £7.8 million of funding from the UK Government’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) funding, following a successful bid by Transdev’s partner, North Yorkshire Council.

Transdev’s new vehicle orders follow successful trials of several types of all-electric buses on three varied routes in and around Harrogate, and on its high-frequency Shuttle route linking Bradford and Keighley.

During the trials, the bus operator invited its customers to rate key design features, with feedback incorporated into the specifications of the order of the new buses.

Transdev Blazefield‘s Managing Director, Henri Rohard, said: “We’re delighted to launch our depot and bus electrification project. It is an important evolution in the quality and sustainability of our network in and around our home town of Harrogate.

“All of our bus fleet will be renewed in the process, giving our Harrogate Bus Company the most modern and passenger-oriented network. The project has been made possible thanks to the significant support from the government’s ZEBRA fund.

“In combination with our existing eight Harrogate Electrics-branded Volvo 7900E electric buses, the first of their kind in Britain, 47 fully-electric vehicles are now expected to be in service in Spring 2024.

“Higher power output delivered by today’s new generation batteries means that each bus can go further between charge-ups – and, to make sure that we provide a reliable service, our buses will also have top-up charges at Harrogate Bus Station, as they will travel further in a day than the maximum range achievable by fully electric buses,” he concluded.

UK Roads Minister, Richard Holden, said: “It’s fantastic to see Transdev turn its Harrogate fleet to fully electric by ordering 39 new electric buses. This has been supported by us providing nearly £8 million to North Yorkshire Council through the ZEBRA scheme.

“We’ve awarded £330 million of dedicated funding for zero-emission buses in England, excluding London, as we continue in our quest to decarbonise transport and reach net zero by 2050,” Holden added.

The news is also being welcomed by North Yorkshire Council, which was among 12 local authorities to submit a successful bid for millions of pounds in government funding to support Transdev’s introduction of a zero-emission electric bus fleet.

North Yorkshire Council’s Executive Member for Highways and Transport, Councillor Keane Duncan, said: “We are delighted to see that our successful bid for government funding is helping to transform bus travel in and around Harrogate. We look forward to continuing to work with Transdev on this project. It’s great news for passengers and an important step towards achieving our climate aims.”

Transdev will now work with teams from the two suppliers who will build its new fleet – Mercedes-Benz and Alexander Dennis – to ensure its in-house engineering teams have the training and upskilling needed to deliver the best performance from its all-electric bus transformation.