Electric bus partners BYD and Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) will build 130 Enviro400EV electric double-decker buses for bus operator National Express and Zenobē. The vehicles are scheduled to enter service in Coventry, UK, from early 2023.
The Enviro400EVs will be produced in the UK. The agreement also provides for the vehicles to be supplied with spare parts for 16 years. The buses will help make Coventry the UK’s first all-electric bus city, according to a statement.
National Express had already announced an order for 130 electric double-deckers a few weeks ago, but did not explain at the time to which manufacturer the order would go. Meanwhile, the operator made public that the vehicles will be built in Great Britain.
As a partner in the electric bus project, Zenobē, a British provider of electric vehicle fleets and battery storage, will provide the financing and management of a complete solution that, in addition to the electric buses, also includes the charging and network infrastructure, a second-life battery system in the depot and software to optimise charging processes, among other things.
The new project builds on an earlier collaboration between ADL, BYD Zenobē and National Express in 2020 for 29 BYD ADL Enviro400EVs in Coventry and Birmingham. Coventry aims to replace all of its approximately 300 diesel vehicles with battery electric ones by 2025. The project is partly funded by the partnership between Zenobē and National Express, with part of the investment also coming from a £50 million grant from the Department for Transport awarded to the West Midlands Combined Authority for Coventry’s all-electric bus city programme, allowing the public sector to do even more.
“As the UK’s leading provider of electric buses, we are delighted to be part of this ETaaS deal with partners Zenobē and National Express,” said Paul Davies, ADL’s president and chief executive. “This innovative model brings together government funding and business innovation to deliver an affordable way of rolling out zero emission bus fleets at scale.”
A few days ago, Zenobē created a £241 million debt structure to accelerate the expansion of its electric vehicle fleet sector. The company plans to initially service and finance up to 430 new electric buses in the UK and Ireland.
Zenobē’s new financing platform is advised and structured by NatWest and supported by a number of other financial institutions. The structure of the platform consists of long-term financings. These include the UK private placement institutions Aviva and Scottish Widows. At the same time, short-term facilities are provided by six banks: Lloyds, MUFG, NatWest, Santander, Siemens and Société Generale. These short-term investments will fund capital investments to support electric buses and charging infrastructure, which will be provided under service contracts to bus operators.
With reporting by Domenico Sciurti, Germany.
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