Tuesday, July 16, 2024

First Bus Introduces 57 Electric Buses to Leeds Fleet

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British transport company First Bus is set to introduce 57 electric buses from Wrightbus to its fleet in Leeds this month, comprising 32 GB Kite Electroliner solo buses and 25 StreetDeck Electroliner double-deckers.

The deployment of these electric buses was contingent on the installation of charging infrastructure at the Bramley depot in Leeds. First Bus has completed the electrification of the depot, equipping it with charging infrastructure from Heliox. By the end of March, one-third of the buses stationed in Bramley will be electric, with further electric buses planned for introduction in the summer of 2024.

See also: First Bus Makes Strides Towards Electric Future with Norwich Depot Transformation

Leeds is poised to have the largest fleet of zero-emission buses in West Yorkshire, a move made possible in part by the British government’s ZEBRA subsidy program. First Bus is financing £16.4 million of the £29 million depot conversion, with an additional £12.6 million secured from the ZEBRA budget in collaboration with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA).

The Wrightbus electric buses used in Leeds are manufactured in Northern Ireland. The order for the 32 GB Kite Electroliner solo buses was placed in August 2022 as part of a larger order for 193 electric buses for use in five cities. The follow-up order in March 2023 included the 25 double-deckers for Bramley, solidifying First Bus as a significant customer for the Northern Irish manufacturer.

See also: First Bus to Launch Electric Vehicle Charging Hub in UK

Charging for the electric buses in Leeds-Bramley is facilitated by 150 kW chargers from Heliox, capable of fully charging a bus in 2.5 hours, according to First Bus.

“This is the beginning of a new future for the Bramley depot and part of our green transport revolution in Leeds,” said Andrew Cullen, Managing Director of First Bus’ North and West Yorkshire business. “We’re proud to unveil these latest zero-emission buses and are confident they will appeal to our customers and attract more people to consider bus travel by realising the real impact this has in reducing congestion, creating cleaner air and supporting the wider West Yorkshire economy.”

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