COP26 electric bus tour launches from north London bus depot

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An electric bus tour from London to Glasgow recognising low carbon energy and transport projects ahead of COP26 has officially launched from operator Go-Ahead’s Northumberland Park depot.

The 11-day ‘Road to Renewables’ journey will see the COP26-branded bus stop off at a 500MW offshore windfarm at Greater Gabbard, as well as in cities Oxford and Peterborough, before concluding in Glasgow on October 29th, three days before the climate change conference gets underway.

Upon arrival at COP26, the vehicle – a BYD ADL all-electric Enviro400EV double-decker – will open a charging garage. The zero-emission bus, built in Britain by manufacturers BYD and Alexander Dennis, is said to be capable of travelling 160 miles on a single charge.

Read more: First’s BYD ADL electric buses selected as COP26 official shuttles

Partners involved in the bus tour, which is designed to showcase examples of the national effort underway to decarbonise, include SSE Distributed Energy, Go-Ahead Group, BYD/Alexander Dennis and Swarco.

Nathan Sanders, managing director of SSE, said: “With just two weeks to go before COP26 in Glasgow there could not be a better time to take to the road with our message that innovation and collaboration are key to tackling the climate emergency.

“SSE is proud to be a major partner of COP26 and proud of the EV infrastructure our distributed energy team provide to help create greener transport and cleaner cities.”

The site of the launch, Go-Ahead’s Northumberland Park, is reportedly one of the largest of its kind in Europe, capable of charging 100 e-buses overnight.

It is also home to the Bus2Grid project, led by SSE, BYD, UK Power Networks, Transport for London, and other partners, which could enable e-buses to become two-way chargers capable of putting power back into the grid.

The COP26 electric bus will visit an offshore windfarm at the UK’s most easterly point and zero-carbon energy trial projects in Oxford and Peterborough, before reaching Glasgow for climate change conference

David Brown, Go-Ahead Group chief executive, said: “With nearly 300 modern zero emission vehicles in our fleet, it is fitting that the ‘Road to Renewables’ journey starts at Northumberland Park, home to approximately 120 electric buses and the pioneering Bus2Grid technology.

“Not only does a double decker bus take up to 75 cars off the road, reducing congestion and improving air quality – by decarbonising our fleet we can make an even stronger contribution to tackling carbon emissions and enabling public health.”

Read more: All new London buses to be zero-emission

The vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology has been provided by BYD, which has delivered over 500 all-electric British-built buses in the UK and 68,000 globally.

According to Frank Thorpe, BYD UK managing director, “BYD is the first company globally in the commercial vehicle sector to provide high-power discharge technology to enable electric buses to charge the grid”.\

Ian Cameron, head of innovation at UK Power Networks, said the energy company is collaborating to realise the full potential of V2G technology for buses.

“Not only do electric buses have a vital role in reducing emissions and improving air quality, harnessing the power of their batteries could potentially help us accommodate even more renewable energy on the network,” said Cameron.

Read more: First Bus completes phase one of UK’s largest electric bus depot

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