First Bus places ‘largest ever order of electric buses outside London’

Service operator First Bus has ordered almost 200 electric vehicles (EVs) from manufacturer Wrightbus.

The £81m deal will see zero-emission buses in use in five cities across the UK.

First Bus bought 68 buses for Leicester, 44 for York, 34 for Portsmouth, 32 for Leeds and 15 for Norwich.

Funding for the purchase included cash from local authorities and the Department for Transport, with transport minister Baroness Vere hailing the biggest ever order of electric buses for routes outside the capital.

Within two years, First Bus will have more than 500 electric buses in operation as it works towards a target of running an entirely zero-emission fleet by 2035.

First Bus UK managing director Janette Bell said: “We are absolutely delighted to place our largest ever zero-emission vehicle order and to do so with a UK manufacturer. Wrightbus has a really exciting product that we feel will enhance the customer experience at the same time as benefitting the environment.

“As leaders in sustainable mobility, we are fully aligned with the government’s ambitions for a net-zero carbon transport system, including zero-emission bus fleets. We will continue to work closely with central and local government across the UK to support the delivery of our shared decarbonisation ambitions and commitments.”

Wrightbus chief commercial officer Ben Werth added:”First Bus, like us, is consistently on the forefront of new and exciting technology and at the forefront of zero and low-emission travel.

“This latest deal with First Bus strengthens the reputation we have forged in the zero-emission transport sector and will help play an important part in the UK’s ambitions for decarbonisation.”

Vere said: “It’s fantastic to see First Bus place the largest ever order of electric buses outside London.

“This marks a key stepping-stone towards our National Bus Strategy commitment of funding 4,000 zero-emissions buses, as we decarbonise and level up transport across the country.”

Image courtesy of First Bus

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