A fleet of 130 zero-emission double-decker buses will be introduced next year as part of a £140m project to make Coventry the UK’s first all-electric bus city.
Last year Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), secured £50m funding from the Department of Transport to ensure every bus in Coventry is zero-emission.
Now under a deal with TfWM, National Express Coventry is making an additional multimillion-pound investment into the All-Electric Bus City project with the purchase of the 130 buses. The company is set to order further vehicles at a later date.
According to TfWM, similar agreements with other bus companies and those running subsidised services are likely to follow, with the aim of putting up to 300 electric buses on the streets of Coventry, guaranteeing an all-electric fleet by 2025.
In addition to new vehicles, TfWM is also working with Coventry City Council to create the necessary charging infrastructure to power the new buses.
This will include upgrades to bus depots and charging points at Pool Meadow Bus Station.
As part of the West Midlands Bus Alliance, National Express Coventry and other bus operators work closely with TfWM and Coventry City Council to provide reliable, affordable and green bus services to residents and visitors across the city.
Roads Minister Baroness Vere said: “As we continue working to decarbonise our transport network, I’m delighted part of our £50m investment is funding one of the largest orders of electric buses the country has seen.
“This money will help revolutionise Coventry’s bus services, providing cleaner ways of getting around, better air quality and reduced carbon emissions as we look towards a net-zero future.”
New and existing bus users will enjoy a smoother, greener, more inclusive transport experience with improvements in accessibility, as well as better comfort and information while on the move.
David Bradford, managing director of National Express Bus, said: “We are really looking forward to launching 130 more of our fully electric buses into service early next year on the way to making Coventry the UK’s first all-electric bus city.
“Ten of our existing electric double-decker buses have already driven over 850,000 miles and saved 1,400 tonnes of carbon dioxide from going out into the atmosphere. Hundreds more of these zero-emission buses are now on their way. It is really great news for Coventry residents and visitors.
“By working together with TfWM and Coventry City Council, we are committed to driving improvements for our customers, as well as contributing to huge health and mobility benefits for people right across Coventry.”