Powering your electric bus fleet with Powersystems

Powering your electric bus fleet with Powersystems

Powersystems look at the most ambitious shake-up in the bus sector in a generation – as operators, councils and government find ways to power greener bus journeys as well as greener funding initiatives as part of the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for a Greener Industrial Revolution announced in November 2020.

The Prime Minister set out a new vision to level up local transport connections throughout the country, making every day journeys easier, greener and more convenient.

New bus strategy announced to reform the sector

Following the launch of the £3 billion green bus strategy this month, which has been described as the most ambitious shake-up of the bus sector in a generation.

The 5-year new funding investment sees passengers benefit from an overall greatly improved service, as well as an aim to deliver 4,000 new British-built electric/hydrogen buses to provide clean, quiet, zero-emission travel. And transition cities and regions across England to emission-free buses.

Further details of programmes will be announced in the upcoming National Bus strategy to be published later this year at the Comprehensive Spending Review, and follows the allocation of £170 million to support more electric buses, increase rural mobility and trial new ‘Superbus’ services. Read more about the changes.

Coventry at the heart of electric bus revolution        

After winning a National bid, plans have been announced for Coventry to become the UK’s first all-electric bus city backed by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA). A £50 Million funding tranche will be handed over to the region by the Department for Transport (DfT).

19 Applicants for the bid were required to outline existing plans to reduce green house gases, and demonstrate how they would tackle further air quality problems.

Working with bus operators Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which is part of the WMCA, will install charging infrastructure as well as replace the entire fleet of buses on the roads and bus lanes of Coventry. This will also include pantograph overhead charging points which will be available to all bus operators.

This new clean electric bus fleet will improve public transport as well as drive a further step change towards tackling climate emergency as well as Coventry’s range of schemes to exceed overall pollution targets, these combinations will have a dramatically positive affect on air quality, emissions and further support the reduction in noise pollution.

As we build back greener across the UK, the Government has committed to decarbonise the transport network, with an aim to achieving net zero by 2050.

A further 25% of the added costs of electric vehicles over diesel, and charging infrastructure will be funded by local bus operators, Coventry Council and Warwickshire Council.  Alongside stakeholders TfWM in partnership will lead the project.

Further £65m funding set for air quality, electric vehicles and nature restoration

The government has announced (9 March) the £40m second round of its Green Recovery Challenge Fund, alongside further funding for air quality projects and electric vehicle innovations.

As the UK Government plans to phase out the sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2030. The Department for Transport has announced a further £20 Million for the Office for Zero Emissions vehicles Transitioning to Zero Emission Vehicles competition and a further £2m for support smaller companies working on emerging zero-emission vehicle technologies, through the Niche Vehicle Network.

Previous winners of such funding have included a prototype zero emissions ambulance that can hit 145km per hour and a recharging system that emerges from the pavement, avoiding the risks of cables trailing from homes.

 Thinking about a new electric bus project and your depot conversion?

Powersystems advise – The first job is to secure grid capacity for your electric vehicle, bus, van or fleet project, this is of paramount importance, even before proceeding with vehicle procurement.

The transformation from diesel buses to all electric can be a complicated process for a garage infrastructure and failure to secure grid capacity can lead operators to the exposure of potentially high and in some cases up to six figure connection costs.

These are exciting time as we play our part in helping you to build back better and power your fleet to a green economy.

Read our guide to grid connection for bus and fleet electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure.

 

 

Prime Minister launches £3 billion green bus revolution

Prime Minister launches £3 billion green bus revolution

  • government publishes major new bus strategy, outlining most ambitious reform to the sector in a generation
  • buses will be more frequent, cheaper, greener, and easier to use as government continues its levelling up agenda
  • councils and operators will work in partnership for the benefit of passengers

Prime Minister Boris Johnson today (15 March 2021) unveils the most ambitious shake-up of the bus sector in a generation, which will see lower, simpler flat fares in towns and cities, turn-up-and-go services on main routes, and new flexible services to reconnect communities.

The government’s new bus strategy, backed by £3 billion of investment, will see passengers across England benefiting from more frequent, more reliable, easier to use and understand, better coordinated and cheaper bus services.

Levelling up services across the country will encourage more people to use the bus, rather than the car, as we build back better from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The changes include:

  • simpler bus fares with daily price caps, so people can use the bus as many times a day as they need without facing mounting costs
  • more services in the evenings and at the weekends
  • integrated services and ticketing across all transport modes, so people can easily move from bus to train
  • all buses to accept contactless payments

Hundreds of miles of new bus lanes will make journeys quicker and more reliable, getting people out of their cars, reducing pollution and operating costs.

The Prime Minister’s ten point plan sets out how we will accelerate the transition to greener and more sustainable transport.

Wehttps://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-ten-point-plan-for-a-green-industrial-revolution will:

  • deliver 4,000 new British-built electric or hydrogen buses will provide clean, quiet, zero-emission travel
  • transition cities and regions across England to emission-free buses, safeguarding the UK bus manufacturing industry
  • end sales of new diesel buses, and we have launched a consultation on the end date today.

We expect to see local authorities and operators working together to deliver bus services that are so frequent that passengers can just ‘turn up and go’ – no longer needing to rely on a traditional timetable and having the confidence they won’t wait more than a few minutes.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

Buses are lifelines and liberators, connecting people to jobs they couldn’t otherwise take, driving pensioners and young people to see their friends, sustaining town centres and protecting the environment.

As we build back from the pandemic, better buses will be one of our first acts of levelling-up.

Just as they did in London, our reforms will make buses the transport of choice, reducing the number of car journeys and improving quality of life for millions.

The fragmented, fully commercialised market, which has operated outside London since 1986 will end. We want to see operators and local councils enter into a statutory “enhanced partnership” or franchising agreements to receive the new funding and deliver the improvements.

It is expected that many councils will choose enhanced partnerships, where local authorities work closely with bus companies, drawing on their operating knowledge and marketing skills. Others may decide that franchising works better for them.

Because of the decline in use caused by the pandemic, bus operators have already received significant emergency support from the government. From this summer, only services under these arrangements will be eligible for continued support or any new sources of funding from the £3 billion transformational investment. The government will also consult later this year on reforming the Bus Service Operators Grant – the current main stream of government bus funding – to achieve the same objectives.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, said:

Buses are this country’s favourite way of getting around. They help us get to school, to the GP, or to the shops – but services across England are patchy, and it’s frankly not good enough.

The quality of bus service you receive shouldn’t be dependent on where you live. Everyone deserves to have access to cheap, reliable and quick bus journeys.

The strategy we’re unveiling today will completely overhaul services, ensuring we build back better from the pandemic. Key to it is the new deal it offers to councils – we will provide unprecedented funding, but we need councils to work closely with operators, and the government, to develop the services of the future.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said:

Buses are the backbone of public transport in the West Midlands, carrying more than 250 million people every year. Today’s strategy is therefore very welcome, and will enable big city regions such as ours to ensure buses remain at the heart of our future transport plans. Residents here want clean, decarbonised buses that are affordable and continue to remain reliable and punctual, and that’s what the new strategy laid out today will deliver.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of independent watchdog Transport Focus, said:

For bus passengers, today’s announcement of more frequent buses and simpler fares will be welcome news. For many, buses are a lifeline to employment, education, medical appointments and leisure, and are essential to the economy. We know that the key priorities for those considering using the bus are more services running more reliably, providing better value.

Since the pandemic, safety and cleanliness have become ever more important. We will work with bus operators and other partners to make sure passengers’ needs are at the heart of new arrangements.

It also sets out ambitions to provide greater access to bus services for all, with plans revealed to require ‘next stop’ announcements onboard buses throughout Great Britain, helping disabled passengers and others to travel with confidence. The government will also launch a consultation on new regulations to improve access onboard buses for wheelchair users.

London-style services aren’t appropriate for all rural and suburban areas, which is why the Department for Transport is today also announcing the recipients of the £20 million from the government’s ‘Rural mobility fund’, which enables on-demand services – such as minibuses booked via an app – to be trialled in areas where a traditional bus service isn’t appropriate.

Electric vehicle manufacturer Arrival to begin trialing new bus

Electric vehicle manufacturer Arrival to begin trialing new bus

Electric vehicle manufacturer, Arrival, will begin trials of its zero-emission bus with First Bus, one of the UK’s largest transport operators.

The trials, which will see Arrival buses navigating existing First Bus routes in the UK, will begin this autumn.

The new partnership comes just seven months after First Bus announced their commitment to purchase no diesel buses after 2022 and to operate a fully zero- emission fleet by 2035.

Arrival unveiled its electric bus last June, creating a new and improved public transportation experience for all users – from the drivers and passengers to the engineers, cleaners and fleet owners – and reducing operating costs for operators, making the transition to electric vehicles more economically viable.

The initial trial vehicle configurations will be a combination of familiar requirements and new innovative features, which will be activated throughout the trial and made possible by Arrival’s smart connected hardware and end-to-end fleet management solutions.

The single-deck Arrival Bus features a single front door with a passenger seating capacity of 36 across the entire flat floor, allowing greater accessibility, as well as more usable standing space and ability for passengers to travel more comfortably.

It is equipped with up to 310.8 kWh of energy storage capacity with the option of both an AC and DC charge.

The Arrival Bus has been developed to not only have common suspension front and rear, but common wheels and tyres – estimating the bus to be up to 40% lighter than other battery-electric buses in the market today.

Arrival’s vertically integrated approach allows it to develop innovation at pace without the constraints of waiting for technology progression in the supply chain. This enables a best-in-class product, with a superior Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) than both fossil fuel and electric vehicles currently on the market.

“Today is an important day in the transition to a more sustainable, user focused transportation ecosystem and we are thrilled to be partnering with First Bus on this trial and for people to experience the Arrival Bus on public roads,” said Avinash Rugoobur, President of Arrival. “Cities around the world are pledging their commitment to a zero- emission transportation future and Arrival is providing them with the ideal product to help them achieve that in the Arrival Bus. We are working in partnership with operators and cities globally to support improvements to public transportation networks whilst creating vehicles that can be tailored to local needs.”

The announcement comes in the year UN Climate Change conference COP26 will be hosted in Glasgow.

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£20m boost for electric vehicle  chargepoints infrastructure

£20m boost for electric vehicle chargepoints infrastructure

Local authorities are being urged to take advantage of a £20m cash injection to boost the number of on-street electric vehicle chargepoints in towns and cities across the UK.

In a letter to councils across Britain, transport secretary Grant Shapps has this week announced that funding for the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS) will continue into 2021/22.

Since its inception in 2017, government sources say that more than 140 local authority projects have benefitted from the scheme, which has supported applications for nearly 4,000 chargepoints across the UK. Ministers say this funding boost could double that, adding nearly 4,000 more chargepoints in the UK’s towns and cities.

Local councils play an essential role in providing electric vehicle infrastructure and so, in partnership with Energy Saving Trust, the Department for Transport is welcoming applications from councils which are yet to apply for funding, as well as those that have already benefitted.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “The prime minister’s ten-point plan set out that we will accelerate the transition to electric vehicles, ending the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, and transforming our national infrastructure to better support electric vehicles, backed by a total of £2.8bn. Of this funding, £1.3bn is set to be invested in charging infrastructure over the next four years.”

Nick Harvey, senior programme manager at Energy Saving Trust, said: “The confirmation of £20m of funding for the ORCS in 2021/22 is great news. This funding will allow local authorities to install convenient and cost-effective electric vehicle charging infrastructure for those who rely on on-street parking. This helps to support the fair transition to the increased adoption of low carbon transport. We’re therefore encouraging local authorities to access this funding as part of their plans to decarbonise transport and improve local air quality.”

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Climate change UK sets new 2030 carbon emissions target

Climate change UK sets new 2030 carbon emissions target

Boris Johnson has set a drastic new climate change target in a bid to reach its target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The government’s new target will see the UK try to cut CO2 emissions by 68 per cent by 2030, compared to 1990.

Read more: Boris Johnson to pump billions into climate change plan and confirms diesel vehicle ban from 2030

The announcement comes after Johnson laid out a ten point plan last month for the UK to reach its 2050 climate change target.

It includes banning the sale of new diesel and petrol cars by 2030, providing £582m in grants to aid buyers of low or zero emission vehicles and spending £500m on developing hydrogen technologies to heat homes.

Johnson also announced a £160m plan in October to make the UK the largest producer of offshore wind power.In a statement released tonight, Johnson said: “Today, we are taking the lead with an ambitious new target to reduce our emissions by 2030, faster than any major economy, with our Ten Point Plan helping us on our path to reach it.

“But this is a global effort, which is why the UK is urging world leaders as part of next week’s Climate Ambition Summit to bring forward their own ambitious plans to cut emissions and set net zero targets.”

Alistair Phillips-Davies, chief executive of SSE energy company, said the new target was “among the most ambitious in the world”.

“This kind of bold and decisive policy-making will help unlock the investment needed to deliver on our net zero ambitions, tackle climate change and help spur a green recovery from the coronavirus crisis,” he said.

Responding to the announcement, shadow business secretary Ed Miliband said: “Our goal should be to go further and faster, cutting the significant majority of emissions in this decisive decade, which is the right way to lead in creating the climate jobs of the future and keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees.”

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RECOVAS End-of-Life Electric Vehicle Supply Chain Project

RECOVAS End-of-Life Electric Vehicle Supply Chain Project

A new project RECOVAS wants to create a circular end-of-life supply chain for the electric vehicle industry.

The project, led by EMR, has won grant support from the UK Government’s Advanced Propulsion Centre.

RECOVAS is a partnership between WMG Based at University of Warwick, EMR, Bentley Motors, BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, the Health and Safety Executive, the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, Autocraft Solutions Group and Connected Energy.

The project will start in January 2021 and will run for three years, by which time the partners expect the circular supply chain to be operating commercially.

Remanufacturing is the process of repairing and re-engineering existing batteries so they could potentially be used in new cars.

Reuse involves giving batteries a second life in stationary storage to help balance the use of the electricity grid during peak use and optimise the use of renewable energy and other applications.

The new supply chain will help all partners to triage batteries when they arrive at approved end-of-life vehicle treatment facilities across the UK for either remanufacturing, reuse or – where this is not possible – recycling.

Professor David Greenwood, chief executive of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, WMG, University of Warwick, said: “Delivery of end-of-life provision for electric vehicle batteries is a strategic necessity for the UK, and this project will establish its first full scale facility.

“Without proper provision, end of life batteries could become a major safety and environmental concern.

“This project will implement state-of-the art recycling methods to meet and exceed the requirements of the current regulations.

“In addition, we will conduct research into new processes which could make the recovery of a much higher proportion of the battery material economically feasible.

“In doing so we will reduce the need for mining and refining of critical materials and we will reduce the carbon footprint of future electric vehicles.

“WMG is delighted to be at the core of this project, and we look forward to its delivery.”

The government is supporting RECOVAS as part of a £49m investment in technologies that will help the automotive industry to “go green”.

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