Some 159 new battery electric buses will be entering service in Oxfordshire in September 2023, after an £82.5m deal was finalised.
The £82.5m total includes £32.8m from the UK government’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme, secured in March 2022, £6m from the council and £43.7m from bus companies Stagecoach and the Go-Ahead Group.
The Go-Ahead Group includes the Oxford Bus Company, Thames Travel and City Sightseeing Oxford.
The sealed deal is intended to deliver both the fleet of new electric buses and the charging infrastructure to support them.
Paul Davies, president and managing director, Alexander Dennis, said: “Our new Enviro400EV has been uncompromisingly designed to meet the requirements of bus operation in the UK, introducing latest advances in technology including our future-proof battery system while guaranteeing first-class aftermarket support throughout the vehicle’s life with AD24.
“We are delighted to have our long-standing partner Stagecoach as the launch customer for the next generation of battery-electric buses, partnering with us to lead the future success of our bus and coach industry.
“This investment keeps funding from the government’s ZEBRA scheme in the country, improving the lives of passengers and residents as well as accelerating decarbonisation.”
Stagecoach has been collaborating with the council to support the decarbonisation of its fleet, with the new deal including the order of 55 new electric buses from British bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis.
The vehicle manufacturer will supply 55 electric Enviro400EV buses for use across the Oxford city and Oxfordshire networks from late 2023, with Stagecoach being the first customer to place a confirmed order for the new battery-electric double decker.
According to Alexander Dennis, the Enviro400EV model has an operational range of up to 260 miles (418km) on a single charge and will offer better passenger experiences through smoother rides and an improved lower deck seating layout.
Andrew Gant, councillor and Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways management, said: “This is a huge boost in the move towards creating a sustainable, decarbonised public transport system, and improving air quality.
“We believe that, along with other schemes proposed in the county, this new fleet of electric buses will transform our public transport system and encourage more people to travel by bus.”