Two UK cities making plans to introduce fully-electric bus services

Electric bus

Coventry and Oxford are developing proposals to become the first parts of the UK to run all-electric bus services and the two cities are developing business cases in an England-wide competition to switch an entire town or city’s bus fleet to electric vehicles.

The British government has announced it received 19 applications from all over England for funding of up to £50 million pounds per area to convert their entire bus fleets to electric operation by 2025 . From these, Coventry and Oxford were selected as finalists and will be first cities to develop corresponding business models for bus network electrification with a total of up to 500 buses and also install new infrastructure, such as charging stations, and pay for electric grid updates.

The government received 19 bids from across England to become the first all-electric bus town or city. Applicants were required to:

  • demonstrate buy-in from stakeholders in their local areas
  • outline existing plans to reduce greenhouse gases and improve air quality
  • show how the plan would tackle an existing air quality problem.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “As we build back greener from Covid-19, we can provide people with more environmentally-friendly transport and cleaner air. Coventry and Oxford could soon be at the forefront of our plans for a new era of bus services, helping us develop the green transport network of the future and support jobs right here in the UK.”

The all-electric bus towns and cities competition is part of a wider package of measures to improve services and make bus journeys greener, easier and more reliable.

In February 2020 the government announced £5 billion for a new golden era for buses and active travel. The UK’s first-ever long-term bus strategy will be launched in the coming months to ensure buses are prioritised into the future.

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