One of the UK’s biggest fleets of all-electric buses has launched in the city of Oxford.
The £82.5m project will deliver 159 zero-emission buses onto the streets of Oxford – the first of which have already gone into service.
It has been funded via a collaboration between Oxfordshire County Council, Go-Ahead’s Oxford Bus Company and Stagecoach.
The council was awarded £32.8m from the UK government’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas scheme and contributed £6m directly, while bus operators invested £43.7m.
Oxford Bus Company will deliver 104 electric buses into service and Stagecoach will deliver 55.
In preparation for launch, Oxford Bus Company has electrified its Cowley House depot, turning it into one of the biggest electric bus charging stations in Britain – with each charging point providing enough electricity for buses to drive up to 200 miles per day.
Luke Marion, Oxford Bus Company’s managing director, said: “Our first tranche of electric buses is now in service, and are already starting to improve air quality and make bus travel an even more attractive option for people to travel around Oxford.
“Decarbonising buses is an exciting project – and we have demonstrated that with the right strategic partnership working between the public and private sector, we can unlock investment to make it happen.”
Go-Ahead currently has more than 700 electric and hydrogen fuel-cell buses on the road, and has plans for more than 1,000 by the end of 2025.
Matt Carney, CEO of Go-Ahead Group’s bus division, said: “Electric buses make an enormous difference to air quality in cities and by decarbonising our fleet in towns and cities across the country, we aim to make a positive contribution to the fight against climate change.
“These new buses in Oxford will form Go-Ahead’s biggest fleet of zero emission buses outside London.
“The project is an example of bus operators working closely with local authorities to deliver for communities.”
Achievements and innovations in public transport will be celebrated at the third annual CiTTi Awards, which will be held on 26 November 2024 at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in London. Nominations officially open in March 2024. Please visit www.cittiawards.co.uk to learn more about this unmissable event for the UK’s transportation sector.