Go-Ahead to launch UK’s largest fleet of all-electric buses in Oxford

Posted: 18 January 2024 | | No comments yet

The Go-Ahead Group, Oxfordshire County Council and Stagecoach have launched the UK’s largest electric bus fleet in Oxford – an £82.5 million initiative with 159 battery buses, marking a significant stride toward sustainable public transportation.

Go-Ahead to launch UK's largest fleet of all-electric buses in Oxford

Credit: Go-Ahead

The Go-Ahead Group has announced that it has partnered with Oxfordshire County Council, Oxford Bus Company and Stagecoach to introduce one of the largest fleets of electric buses in the UK. The £82.5 million project aims to bring 159 battery-powered buses to the streets of Oxford, marking a significant stride towards cleaner air, enhanced commuter experiences and a fleet of cutting-edge vehicles for the city.

Funding for this initiative has been secured through a collaborative effort, with Oxfordshire County Council receiving £32.8 million from the government’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme and contributing an additional £6 million directly. The bus operators, Go-Ahead’s Oxford Bus Company and Stagecoach, have invested a combined £43.7 million.

The transformative infrastructure project aligns with Oxford’s vision to create a sustainable, decarbonised public transport system, ultimately leading to improved air quality within the city. The initiative comes as a welcome boost to environmental efforts and sets a precedent for similar initiatives nationwide.

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Oxford Bus Company will introduce 104 electric buses into service, while Stagecoach will deploy 55. In anticipation of the fleet’s launch, Oxford Bus Company has converted its Cowley House depot into one of the largest electric bus charging stations in Britain. Each charging point is designed to supply enough electricity for buses to cover up to 200 miles per day, ensuring seamless operations.

Matt Carney, CEO of The Go-Ahead Group’s bus division, said: “Go-Ahead is proud to be the largest operator of zero-emission buses in Britain. Electric buses make an enormous difference to air quality in cities and by decarbonising our fleet in towns and cities across the country, we aim to make a positive contribution to the fight against climate change. These new buses in Oxford will form Go-Ahead’s biggest fleet of zero emission buses outside London.”

Luke Marion, Oxford Bus Company Managing Director, said: “This is a historic moment in our journey towards transforming our city services to electric. Our first tranche of electric buses is now in service, and are already starting to improve air quality and make bus travel an even more attractive option for people to travel around Oxford. Decarbonising buses is an exciting project – and we have demonstrated that with the right strategic partnership working between the public and private sector, we can unlock investment to make it happen.”