The first electric buses to run in Greater Cambridge have been introduced today by the Greater Cambridge Partnership and Stagecoach East.
GCP and Stagecoach East unveil first electric buses to serve Greater Cambridge
The new zero-emission vehicles – two of 15 in Stagecoach’s national bus fleet – can travel 160 miles on a single charge and will operate on the 6 route serving the city centre, Girton and Oaktington to provide cleaner and greener journeys for thousands of people every day.
The GCP has provided around £400,000 to help introduce the vehicles into service.
Cllr Aidan Van de Weyer, chair of the GCP’s Executive Board, said: “These are the first electric buses in Cambridgeshire as we work to transform public transport, cut congestion and improve the quality of the air we breathe.
“These electric buses, two of 15 in Stagecoach’s national fleet, will mean better journeys for thousands of people travelling in clean vehicles, with thousands more benefiting from less pollution on our busy roads.”
There are currently 22 low emission buses – such as electric or hybrid vehicles - based in the East of England, according to Department for Transport figures.
To celebrate the launch, pupils from Girton Glebe and Oakington schools will name the two new electric buses. A panel from the GCP and Stagecoach will choose a name put forward by each school for each of new buses, with the winning pupils invited to a special naming ceremony.
Cllr Ian Bates, transport portfolio holder for the GCP, said: “I’m looking forward to seeing what names schoolchildren come up with for the buses and finding out what people think about these eye-catching and emission-free vehicles as they transport people around the city.”
The 6 route has been chosen because it only requires two vehicles to service it. Drivers have received extra training and the depot has been kitted out with special charging points.
Michelle Hargreaves, Stagecoach East Managing Director, said: “Over the years we have steadily reduced the environmental impact of our diesel buses and now 32% of the fleet have the most efficient Euro 6 engines.
“The addition of the electric vehicles is a further step forward in our attempts to keep emissions to a minimum.
“As a company committed to doing the right thing for our planet and our communities, Stagecoach is leading the way in the transition to a cleaner public transport future.”
The new zero-emission buses are not only helping to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality, but will also enhance the passenger experience due to smoother and quieter journeys.
Image credit: Stagecoach
The Greater Cambridge Partnership is the local delivery body for a City Deal with central Government, bringing powers and investment, worth up to £1 billion over 15 years, to vital improvements in infrastructure, supporting and accelerating the creation of 44,000 new jobs, 33,500 new homes and 420 additional apprenticeships.