Bus operator Harrogate Bus Company has confirmed an order for 39 new electric buses (e-buses), worth £21m, with the aim of making Harrogate’s fleet fully electric.
The new vehicle order comes from Transdev Blazefield, a transport service in North England.
The order is supported by £7.8m in funding from the UK government’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) funding, following a successful bid by Transdev’s partner, North Yorkshire Council.
An addition of 39 new buses follows trials of several types of all-electric buses on three varied routes in and around Harrogate, and on its high-frequency shuttle route linking Bradford and Keighley.
During the trials, the bus operator asked passengers to rate design features, with feedback reportedly incorporated into the specifications of the new buses.
Henri Rohard, managing director, Transdev, said: “We’re delighted to launch our depot and bus electrification project. It is an important evolution in the quality and sustainability of our network in and around Harrogate.
“All our bus fleet will be renewed in the process, giving our Harrogate Bus Company the most modern and passenger oriented network.”
Rohard added that, in combination with the existing eight Harrogate Electrics-branded Volvo 7900E electric buses, 47 fully-electric vehicles are now expected to be in service by spring 2024.
North Yorkshire Council was among 12 local authorities to submit a successful bid for millions of pounds in government funding to support Transdev’s introduction of a zero-emission electric bus fleet in Harrogate.
Richard Holden, road minister, added: “We’ve awarded £330m of dedicated funding for zero-emission buses in England excluding London, as we continue in our quest to decarbonise transport and reach net zero by 2050.”
North Yorkshire council’s executive member for highways and transport, Cllr Keane Duncan, described the partnership as “great news for passengers” because it is “an important step towards climate aims”.
The Harrogate Bus Company will now work with teams from the two suppliers who will build its new fleet to ensure its in-house engineering teams have the training and upskilling needed to operate the fleet.