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.



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