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Scottish Transport Minister launches new Stagecoach electric bus fleet

13 Dec 2021

  • Bus passengers in Perth to benefit from the region’s first fully electric buses
  • Nine new zero emission, fully electric buses to be introduced
  • Serving bus routes 1 and 2 across the city from January
  • Part of commitment to target a zero emissions UK bus fleet by 2035
  • Builds on £1 billion investment in greener vehicles over the last decade

Scotland’s Transport Minister Graeme Dey has joined Stagecoach today (Monday 13 December) to launch Perth’s first fully electric buses. The nine new single deck buses will start serving routes across the city from January.

The Transport Minister was joined at the official media launch event at Perth Concert Hall today by Martin Griffiths, Chief Executive of Stagecoach, as well as representatives from bus manufacturer ADL and low carbon energy company SSE.

The electric fleet of nine ADL E200 single deck vehicles will operate on busy Perth city service routes 1 and 2, connecting Letham and Tulloch with Perth city centre, including retail and leisure developments, Perth Royal Infirmary, educational establishments and McDiarmid Park.

The vehicles were built locally in Falkirk by global bus manufacturer, ADL in partnership with BYD, the company’s partner for electric buses in the UK and Ireland.  Locally headquartered, low carbon energy company SSE are also partnering with Stagecoach to deliver the new electrical infrastructure at Perth depot.

Not only do these vehicles benefit the planet through zero emissions but are also quieter, have USB charging points at each seat, interior LED lights and contactless payment facilities creating a relaxing experience for passengers.

Minster for Transport Graeme Dey said: “I’m looking forward to seeing these new buses hit the road, thanks to the awards from the Scottish Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme. By helping operators invest in greener fleets, we can support our green recovery and keep more people moving with fewer carbon emissions and better air quality as a result.

“More journeys are made by bus compared to any other public transport mode and a vibrant bus industry can provide the solutions to complex challenges in our society. With the buses being manufactured in Falkirk, we are also helping the Scottish bus industry and wider supply chain.”

Martin Griffiths, Chief Executive of Stagecoach, said: “We are all really excited to be introducing our first fully electric vehicles in East Scotland thanks to the Scottish Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme and the funding made available to support the delivery of the new buses.

“There has never been a more important time to take action to address the climate emergency and play a part in helping Scotland deliver on its net zero ambitions and we’re pleased to be working with SSE and ADL on our plans. The introduction of these new fully electric buses in Perth reflect our commitment to creating a greener, smarter, safer and healthier country and at the same time will deliver major benefits for the region and our customers.”

ADL President & Managing Director Paul Davies said: “Stagecoach continues to be at the front of investment in sustainable mobility and this new electric bus fleet for Perth is further testament to the group’s ambition in supporting not only the Scottish Government in its targets, but also underpinning skilled jobs and apprenticeships in the world-class UK bus manufacturing industry.

“We are proud that our innovations continue to enable Stagecoach in delivering greener journeys. We look forward to continuing to work with Stagecoach and the Scottish Government in decarbonising the country’s bus fleet.”

Kevin Welstead, EV Sector Director of SSE Energy Solutions, said: “We fully support the drive to decarbonise public transport in Scotland through our role as the EV infrastructure partners of choice for Stagecoach in this project. Given that SSE is headquartered at Perth we want to see cleaner and greener transport options for the area. We are also proud to be working with Stagecoach on a pilot scheme to trial EV community hubs, which mean the local population could also benefit from charging infrastructure once the electric buses are out on shift in the day.”

Stagecoach is introducing a total of 52 new fully electric buses in key transport networks including 46 in Aberdeen, Kilmarnock and Perth as part of the Scottish Government’s Ultra Low Emission Bus Scheme (SULEBS). During the summer, the bus company also launched six new electric buses serving rural communities across the west of Scotland in partnership with SP Energy Networks. Stagecoach has also made one of the biggest single investments in electric vehicles in Europe with its double-decker fleet in Manchester.

The 46 new fully electric buses, representing an investment of £21.4m across Scotland (£4.4m in Perth), were part of a drive to improve air quality and support the Scottish Government’s environmental targets through SULEBS which helps bus companies invest in electric vehicles and associated infrastructure to support a green recovery out of the coronavirus pandemic, improve air quality and advance Scotland’s ambitions for a net-zero economy.

Scottish Government has set a legally binding target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2045. Transport has a critical role to play in the economy reaching net zero, as rising car use has resulted in a rise in carbon emissions from the sector.