Abellio opens new electric bus depot

Abellio London Bus has opened a new depot which is set to power electric vehicle routes in West London.

On 11 July, operator Abellio London Bus opened the doors on its brand new depot for West London in Hayes. The new depot at Dawley Road in Hayes replaces Abellio’s North Hyde Gardens site. 

Hayes goes into operation with full EV capacity and highlights Abellio London Bus’ continued investment into world-leading electric technology and infrastructure. In the last year Abellio has introduced 41 electric buses across their London fleet, adding to the 34 already in service. By the end of 2022 the business will have 125 fully electric buses in service.

This is Abellio’s first fully owned bus depot in London, it is a purpose built operating centre that houses up to 56 buses. Built with construction partner Boshers Master Builders, the depot sits on a completely new site and was constructed during lockdown, with planning permission granted in March 2021 and ground being broken in August 2021. 

The Hayes depot has been designed as a dedicated operating centre, the building features a living roof and nesting boxes alongside an energy efficiency rating of B. Maintenance, driver training and driver theory testing will take place at an additional new facility in Waterway Park 0.5 miles away. 

The Hayes depot will be the home of new state-of-the-art EV buses operating on route U5. These buses, manufactured by Alexander Dennis, have a range of innovative and modern features – including a more open feel, USB chargers and mobile phone holders in the seats, a contrasting colour scheme for priority seats, larger wheelchair and buggy area, and new digital information displays to improve accessibility.

The electrification of the depot was provided by Enel X, complete with the installation, maintenance, and servicing of six 300kW high powered Enel X Way charging stations for the EV buses. The charging infrastructure is both fast and smart, leveraging technology to maximise efficiency such as charging at off-peak times. Connection to the grid was supported by ESP Utilities Group, via an 11kV substation providing a 2,000kVA capacity for the bus depot.

The mobilisation of the depot and ongoing operational delivery is led by Lorna Murphy, Operations Director, Abellio London Bus and Marta Leszczynska, Operations Manager, Hayes Depot. These women leaders in transport have successfully led the route transfers to the new site from a temporary facility and the introduction of the new U5 EV fleet into operation at Hayes. 

Louise Cheeseman, Director of Bus at TfL attended on July 11th to mark the official opening of Hayes alongside Lorna Murphy, Marta Leszczynska, and Kimberly Littlefield, Communications Manager from Enel X. Lauren Diederich of ESP also attended.

Louise Cheeseman said: “The opening of Abellio’s new Hayes depot is another exciting step in London’s journey towards a zero-emission bus fleet, with the depot’s EV charging infrastructure modernising the industry, bringing fresh skills and a new generation of engineers and drivers. This will see us add to the more than 850 zero-emission buses already on our city’s roads. These cleaner, greener buses, including the state-of-the-art models now operating on route U5, are part of the Mayor’s drive to clean up our air, reduce the effects of climate change by bringing down carbon emissions and cut congestion on our roads.”

Lorna Murphy, Director of Operations, Abellio London Bus said: “The opening of our Hayes depot marks a leap forward for Abellio London Bus. This depot allows us to provide more accessible and comfortable electric journeys for our customers in West London, whilst working with TfL to decarbonise and support climate resilience as we lead the way toward a zero emission fleet.”

Tony Whittle, Head of Enel X UK & Ireland said: “We congratulate Abellio on the opening of their new Hayes depot, which is a symbol of our collective Net Zero future. It is an honour and a pleasure to partner with Abellio on this innovative electrification project in a long-term capacity, and we look forward to the opportunity to further their sustainability initiatives in a way that delivers value for all of West London.”

Kevin O’Connor, CEO, ESP Utilities Group said: “It is wonderful to celebrate the launch of Abellio’s new Hayes Depot and recognise the important step this takes on their journey towards a zero emission fleet.  Depots that have a full EV capacity play a huge part towards realising the Mayor’s zero emission ambition for London by 2030. As part of our partnership with Abellio, we supported the connection to the grid through the provision of technical support, value engineering, procurement support and accelerated land rights.”

In the last year Abellio London Buses have clocked up over 2 million EV miles.

Images courtesy of Abellio London Bus.

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