Nov 2, 2021 - 03:48 pm

Leicester to electrify 200 buses by 2030

In England, the city of Leicester has presented a plan that, among other things, envisages converting half of the bus fleet to electric by 2025 and the entire fleet by 2030. This involves more than 200 vehicles.

The first stage of the plan is to get 96 electric buses into operation by spring 2024, thanks to a grant from the British government. Leicester wants to introduce the zero-emission buses on 21 different routes throughout the city. The local public transport operators FirstBus and Arriva are to share the charge: FirstBus will put 68 of the 96 electric buses into service, all of which will be solo buses. Arriva will put 22 double-decker electric buses into service, the remaining six solo electric buses will remain in the possession of the city and will be assigned to contractually defined routes in the city.

The procurement will be supported by £19 million (just under 22.5 million euros) from the government’s ZEBRA (Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas) programme until 2024. The total investment is estimated by the city at £47 million (just over 55 million euros), of which FirstBus will contribute £15.7 million, Arriva £10.1 million and the city £2.2 million, equivalent to 18.5 million, just under 12 million and 2.6 million euros respectively.

The partners expect 96 new electric buses to be in service by spring 2024. This will mean that more than a third of Leicester’s bus fleet will be fully electric, serving routes used by more than half of the city’s bus passengers.

The investment builds on the already completed introduction of 11 electric buses for Park & Ride services in Leicester in early summer this year. This comes with the prioritisation of buses on busy routes across the city and a £13.5 million redevelopment of St Margaret’s, which the City of Leicester claims will be the UK’s “first carbon-neutral bus station building”.

The procurement campaign is embedded in a longer-term roadmap called the Leicester Bus Services Improvement Plan (BSIP), which envisages converting half of the bus fleet to electric propulsion by 2025 and the entire fleet by 2030, but also pushing for the general modernisation and improvement of bus services throughout the city, for example in the form of digital tickets or the introduction of more bus lanes.

The city says it has submitted the BSIP to the UK Department for Transport in order to receive further funding under the new national bus strategy. The UK bus strategy was revealed in March this year with a framework for “enhanced local partnerships” and a pledge to invest £3Bn (about 3.5Bn euros). The three-billion-pound package includes investments in 4,000 greener buses powered by both electricity from batteries and electricity from hydrogen fuel cells.

news.leicester.gov.uk (plan from 2025 onwards), news.leicester.gov.uk (plan until 2024)

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Found on electrive.com
https://www.electrive.com/2021/11/02/leicester-to-electrify-200-buses-by-2030/
02.11.2021 15:16