As featured in MarketScreener.
A £150 million project to create the UK’s first all-electric bus city by 2025 has taken a major step forward with 50 new greener buses on the streets of Coventry.
Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) has been working with Coventry City Council on the scheme and has secured £50 million Department for Transport funding to develop charging infrastructure and to top up the investment being made by bus operators in upgrading their fleets with electric vehicles.
This will include upgrades such as charge points at bus depots across Coventry and Warwickshire.
The 50 new National Express Coventry double-decker buses are the first of up to 300 new vehicles due to arrive over the next three years under the pollution busting ‘Coventry’s Electric’ programme. National Express has also invested over £60m, meaning over a third of its Coventry fleet is now electric, with another 80 committed for early 2023.
Coventry will see improved air quality and reduced greenhouse gases, and passengers will benefit from a fleet of brand new, comfortable and fully accessible buses.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Local people are now starting to see these wonderful buses on the streets of Coventry – offering them a quieter, smoother and more comfortable journey.
“As we seek to tackle the climate emergency and maintain our #WM2041 net zero commitment, these British made buses are saving energy, cutting fuel costs for operators and improving our air quality.
“I cannot wait to see even more electric buses arriving in the next few years as Coventry becomes a truly all-electric bus city.”
Tom Stables, CEO National Express UK, added: “Our vision is to become the UK’s most sustainable bus and coach company and it’s been great to see this month’s COP27 putting a real focus on how businesses can play their part in addressing climate change.
“More people using public transport has significant benefits for society including safer roads, increased access to opportunities, reduced congestion, improved air quality and more space in our cities.
“We’re proud and excited to be leading the way in making Coventry all-electric and are actively recruiting new drivers to join us in the green revolution. Full training is provided and we have recently launched new pay rates of up to £29,500, or more with overtime.”
The city already had 10 all-electric buses operated by National Express so this brings the total number of buses in the city to 60.
Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Coventry City Council’s cabinet member for jobs, regeneration and climate change, said: “We put the bid together and convinced the government that Coventry is the right place to become an all-electric bus city.
“Hitting a milestone of 50 new all-electric vehicles is fantastic and the city is really gearing up to creating the right infrastructure for the increase in zero emission vehicles.
“A quarter of the council’s fleet are now all electric, and we have 607 charging points in the city – more than any other city outside of London.
“This is all part of our joint efforts to help lead on the green industrial revolution and cut our carbon footprint. There are a number of partners involved and it highlights the excellent joint working relations between the different organisations involved.
“We are very proud to say that Coventry will be the country’s first all-electric bus city.”
The electric bus fleet is just one part of TfWM’s plans with new rail, bus, tram and cycle routes being developed and new technology introduced to support the West Midlands in achieving its #WM2041 target and become a net-zero carbon region within the next two decades.
Not only will Coventry become the UK’s first all-electric bus city, but TfWM, which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), has committed to a fully zero-emission region by 2030 in its Bus Service Improvement Plan.
Roads Minister Richard Holden said: “I’m thrilled to see Coventry take another step to becoming the UK’s first all-electric bus city thanks to our £50 million investment to replace the entire city’s bus fleet with new electric buses and install new charging infrastructure.
“The introduction of additional new electric buses by National Express is another crucial milestone towards realising a zero emission bus fleet and level up green transport up and down the country.”
The new British buses, built in Falkirk by Alexander Dennis, are part of a total order by National Express Coventry of 130 ADL E400EVs on a BYD chassis.
Zenobē, EV fleet and battery storage specialist, is providing Electric Transport-as-a-Service (ETaaS) to National Express Coventry with its end-to-end solution. This includes on-board replacement batteries, the charging and grid infrastructure system at the depot, with
dedicated rapid chargers, and a software platform which helps monitor and optimise energy
use, as well as parts and operational support.
The buses produce zero carbon emissions at the tailpipe and are powered by renewable
‘green’ energy thanks to solar panels, and a second-life battery installed at the depot by Zenobē. They take four hours to charge and can run for up to 280 km depending on the time
As part of the West Midlands Bus Alliance, National Express Coventry, Stagecoach and other bus operators work closely with TfWM, Coventry City Council and Warwickshire County Council to provide reliable, affordable and green bus services to residents and visitors across the city.
Steven Meersman, co-founder and director at Zenobē, said: “We’re delighted to announce that50 of the 130 new e-buses and charging infrastructure have been delivered and integrated
on-time and at pace, and are now out on the roads of Coventry.
“It’s a pleasure to work with innovative partners at Transport for West Midlands and National Express UK to deliver the first Energy Transition as a Service (ETaaS) contract in the electric bus sector, offering a ready to go electric bus fleet backed up by operational guarantees, so they can focus on their fantastic customer service and day to day operations.”
Notes to Editors:
About Transport for West Midlands
Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).
Led by the Mayor of the West Midlands, the WMCA brings together 18 local councils and three Local Enterprise Partnerships to oversee the transfer of powers and funding from Whitehall to the West Midlands.
The WMCA is putting these new powers from government back where they belong, in local hands, bringing the region together to build a healthier, happier, better connected and more prosperous West Midlands.
Billions of pounds are being invested by the WMCA to improve the region’s transport network, transform its derelict industrial land into new homes and workplaces, support existing businesses and help grow the innovative, green industries of the future.
At the heart of this vision is a strong economy that is both green and inclusive, one that supports the region’s ambition to be net zero carbon by 2041 and offers everyone the opportunity of a good quality, affordable home and the skills needed for a worthwhile job.
About National Express
In UK bus, National Express is the market leader in the West Midlands – the largest urban bus market outside of London. Services are operated from nine garages across the region, with over 6,000 employees and a fleet of 1,600 buses carrying nearly a million people to work, school, college, to the shops and to see their friends and family every day.
In February 2020 National Express announced its pledge to have a fully zero-emission bus fleet by 2030. National Express’ achievements are founded in partnership working. As a founder member of the UK’s first and most successful Bus Alliance, the bus company works with TfWM, councils and Transport Focus to improve bus travel for its customers.
Media pack of photography and b-roll footage available at: www.nationalexpressgroup.com/CoventryAllElectric
Spokespeople available on request – contact firstname.lastname@example.org / 07768 035512
About Zenobē Energy Ltd. (Zenobē):
Zenobē is an international EV fleet and battery storage specialist, headquartered in the UK with operations in Europe and Australasia. It has c.235 MW of contracted storage assets and 1.6GW in development in the UK which equates to c.25% market share forecast by 2026, around 25% market share of the UK EV bus sector and c.580 electric vehicles on the road globally. The
company is the largest owner and operator of EV buses in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
The company’s pioneering battery storage offering enables power grid operators to provide clean, secure and affordable power, accelerating the global transition to Net Zero energy systems. Zenobē’s fleet solution is driving the adoption of electric vehicles and reducing emissions from the transport and logistics sectors. Its ETaaS (Electric Transport-as-a-Service) solution provides fleet operators and local authorities with a full solution for a pay-per-month fee including charging infrastructure, battery replacement and award-winning software. Zenobē is also a leader in repurposing EV batteries after their first life, providing incremental power solutions to large business and the film and events industries.
Pete leads Zenobē’s growing team of Product specialists across all areas of the business. His team oversee our R&D as well as product development in both hardware and software.
He has been working in the European E-Mobility sector from over ten years, specialising in the design, build and delivery of software systems for EV Charging.