19 April 2021
Coventry will receive £50 million to fund 297 all-electric buses after the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) Board gave its final approval to the proposal. With a target date of 2025, this will mean that the West Midlands city will be the first in the country to host all-electric buses.
The funding from the Department for Transport (DfT) aims to support improvements to air quality, lower greenhouse gases (GHGs) and reduce the costs of running the vehicles. With the buses also providing a more comfortable passenger experience, it is hoped they will help to boost the number of people using buses to travel around the city.
They will certainly improve air quality: highways officers believe the initiative will save around 55 tonnes of nitrogen dioxide every year.
As well as funding for new vehicles, the grant will also cover investment in wider infrastructure such as charging points and upgrades to the electric grid. The £50 million will be supported by a further £78 million of investment from local bus operators into the new electric buses, depot charging facilities and associated power upgrades.
The all-electric bus city programme will also give a commitment to ensure all future buses operating in the city after winter 2025 are all electric.
David Bradford, Managing Director at National Express Coventry, said: “We all have a part to play in making cleaner, greener choices, so it’s worth remembering that a double decker bus can take up to 75 cars off the road.”
Coventry has one of the largest networks of electric vehicle charge points in any city outside London, and the investment in buses will complement other schemes that feature and promote electric vehicle use in Coventry such as the electrification of the Council’s own fleet of vehicles and the promotion of electric taxis.