First Bus orders 117 electric buses from Wrightbus
The British transport company First Bus has ordered another 117 electric buses from the Northern Irish bus manufacturer Wrightbus. The buses will go into operation in four cities. The purchase was made possible by additional funding from the British government.
The order includes battery-electric double-deckers as well as some solo buses. According to the announcement, the 117 new electric buses will be used in Norwich (55 double-deckers), Hoeford (28 solo buses), Bramley (25 double-deckers) and York (nine double-deckers). The solo buses for Hoeford are likely to be GB Kite Electroliner BEV, while Wrightbus offers the StreetDeck Electroliner BEV as an electric double-decker.
The new buses are on top of the 193 electric buses that First Bus ordered from Wrightbus last year. In total, First Bus will operate more than 600 electric buses by March 2024, and the company aims to be CO2 neutral by 2035.
The British government is providing just over 25 million pounds in funding for the roll-out of the 117 buses (about 30 million dollars). 11.5 million pounds will go to Norfolk County Council, 6.2 million pounds to Portsmouth City Council and Hampshire County Council, 5.7 million pounds to the West Yorkshire Combined Authority for the 25 electric buses in Bramley, and 1.9 million pounds to York City Council for the nine electric buses there. The funding comes from the Zero Emission Bus Regional Area (ZEBRA) programme. In total, the government is funding the procurement of 1,395 electric buses with the programme for a total of 300 million pounds (359 million dollars)
“Buses are the most popular form of public transport, and these new British-built zero-emission buses will support hundreds of high-quality manufacturing jobs in Northern Ireland, grow our economy and help clean up the air in towns and cities across the country,” says British Roads Minister Richard Holden.
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