Portsmouth’s first zero-emission electric buses hit the road

Posted: 10 April 2024 | | No comments yet

The new electric vehicles signify the arrival of the region’s first zero-emission buses, and are the first of 62 to enter service in Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport by Summer 2024.

Portsmouth's first zero-emission electric buses hit the road

Credit: First Bus

The first new electric buses from First Bus South, operator of First Bus Solent, have entered service in Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport, ushering in the region’s first zero-emission buses. 

They are the first of 62 buses which will be rolled out for passengers on routes including:

  • 1 Gunwharf – Southsea
  • 3 Fareham – Southsea
  • 9/9A Fareham – Gosport
  • X4 The Hard – Fareham – Southampton
  • X5 Gosport – Fareham – Southampton
  • The Eclipse rapid transit bus from Fareham – Gosport for the ferry connection to Portsmouth.

The state-of-the-art, British-made zero-emission buses – from manufacturer Wrightbus – mean cleaner air and quieter streets for local people. Offering a smoother, more comfortable ride, they are also fitted with features including USB charging points, on-screen and audio announcements and the latest in accessibility design. 

The £28.6 million project to bring electric buses to the Solent region is due to a partnership with Portsmouth City Council and Hampshire County Council, which secured £12.7 million from the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Zero Emission Bus Regional Area (ZEBRA) scheme, along with a £15.9 million investment from First Bus South, the operator of bus services in the Solent region. 

The introduction of the new electric vehicles (EVs) will mean that, when all 62 buses are in service by Summer 2024, nearly half of the total fleet (42%) operated by First Bus Solent will be electric.  

The area where these new electric buses will be operating includes two Clean Air Zones (CAZ), so the arrival of the fleet will support both the environment and public health – helping to improve air quality, cut pollution and reduce carbon emissions.  

The buses will operate from First Bus Solent’s Hoeford depot in Fareham, where works are taking place to support the infrastructure for charging and operation of the new electric fleet.  

Simon Goff, First Bus South’s Managing Director, said: “So much hard work and planning has gone into getting us to this point and I’m so excited to see the first EV buses go out onto the roads to serve customers in Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport. These vehicles offer significant environmental benefits as they emit zero tailpipe emissions, which means better air quality for local people. What’s fantastic is that they’ll also improve the journey experience for our customers, providing a smoother, more comfortable ride. We hope that our passengers are as pleased with them as we are.”