First Bus rolls out first commercial e-buses in Glasgow since 1960s
Posted: 13 January 2020 | Sam Mehmet (Intelligent Transport)
The new buses are said to be a statement of intent for the city’s transport, as they look to join the electric revolution to help meet their target of net zero emissions by 2030.
Electric buses have become a part of First's fleets across the UK in recent years
First Glasgow has rolled out two all-electric buses as it reportedly becomes the city’s first commercial bus operator to introduce fully electric vehicles onto a commercial bus route since the 1960s, following funding from electricity distributor SP Energy Networks.
The electric buses are being funded as part of SP Energy Networks’ £20million Green Economy Fund, which is said to support Glasgow’s mission to become the UK’s first net zero emissions city by 2030. It also reportedly contributes to the Scottish Government’s plans to meet climate change targets, boost local economic growth, improve air quality across the country and deliver a better future, quicker for communities.
The new M3 electric buses, built by Alexander Dennis at their Falkirk factory, have mirrorless smartvision technology, which is said to remove the need for wing mirrors, helps reduce blind spots for drivers and helps to reduce the effects of bad weather on their vision via the CCTV system. The new vehicles will also have USB charging points, on-board audio-visual next stop announcements and free Wi-Fi.
As part of the SP Energy Networks funding deal, First Glasgow will also introduce 22 electric vehicle charging points in its Glasgow Caledonia Depot, which will allow more electric buses to be introduced by First Glasgow into Glasgow’s transport network in the future.
The bus operator is currently 40 per cent compliant and plans to introduce more new low emission buses to the city to ensure it is 100 per cent compliant with the city’s low emission zone to at least Euro VI emissions standard by the end of 2022.
First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, said: “It is a real pleasure to see First launch their fully electric buses in Glasgow, following funding from SP Energy Networks. Scotland was one of the first countries to acknowledge that we are facing a global climate emergency and we have legislated for the most ambitious carbon reduction target of any country in the world.
“A key part of our plans is encouraging greater use of public transport as well as phasing out petrol and diesel vehicles. It’s so great to see First and SP Energy Networks playing their part in helping us to achieve our goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2045.”