Stagecoach have announced the launch of the UK’s first fully-electric city bus network in Inverness. The catchment area has 25 brand-new zero-emission Yutong E10 buses operating on all city centre routes.
The vehicles can operate from morning to evening on a single daily charge. The new modern specification buses feature USB charging points at each seat, interior LED lights and contactless payment facilities. With no engine noise or vibration, passengers can look forward to a relaxing experience.
The £10.8 million investment was supported by the Scottish Government’s Zero Emission Bus Challenge Fund (ScotZEB). Charging infrastructure was successfully installed at the Inverness depot ahead of the launch. Stagecoach uses 100 per cent renewable electricity across the business.
Stagecoach will also launch two further fully-electric city bus networks in Perth and Dunfermline in the coming months.
Jenny Gilruth, Minister for Transport, said: “With this significant introduction of 25 new electric buses, Stagecoach is showing a welcome commitment to help meet Scotland’s world-leading climate change targets.
“I’m pleased that the Scottish Government has been able to support the ambitions of Stagecoach in Inverness, as part of our Mission Zero for Transport, by providing £5.8 million through our Scottish Zero Emission Bus Scheme.
“In addition to better air quality and reduced noise pollution across the city, these modern zero-emission buses will offer an improved customer experience and help more people in Inverness to choose buses.”
David Beaton, Stagecoach Highlands managing director, said: “I am incredibly proud to be able to say that we’re now operating the UKs first fully-electric city bus network here in Inverness.
“It is a challenging time for the industry, and we still have some way to go, but we’re absolutely committed to improving public transport for our customers across the Highlands.”
Between 2021 and 2022, Stagecoach helped customers across the UK avoid nearly 20,000 tonnes of carbon emissions by providing them with more sustainable travel, rather than taking the car.
Stagecoach is on target for a zero emission UK bus fleet by 2035 and has introduced new electric buses across many parts of the country. This includes one of Europe’s biggest investments in electric buses in Manchester. A further 159 new electric buses will be introduced in 2023, including those in Inverness, bringing the total to 343.
Ian Downie, Head of Yutong UK, said: “We are honoured that Stagecoach have selected our market-leading single decks for the UK’s first fully electric city bus network. Our tried, tested and proven product will bring a new standard for public transport due to its customer-centric features, such as full air conditioning.”
In the Highlands, Stagecoach will shortly take delivery of 40 new Euro 6 vehicles for Aviemore and Tain to further renew the fleet and reduce carbon emissions on longer distance routes, as part of an ongoing investment into improving public transport in the area. In combination with the Inverness City Network, this totals a £40 million investment in new vehicles and infrastructure for Stagecoach Highlands in 2022/2023.
Stagecoach Highlands also today confirmed that their airport service, service 11, will operate via the new Inverness Airport railway station, connecting rail passengers with the airport terminal.
The 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.
At the end of January, Stagecoach and the Go-Ahead Group, which includes the Oxford Bus Company, Thames Travel and City Sightseeing Oxford, announced that Oxfordshire will see the first vehicles in a fleet of 159 new battery electric buses in September. This was after an £82.5 million deal was sealed for the county to clean up its bus services.