Companies join forces to drive adoption of electric buses in UK

Zeelo, the UK’s largest smart bus platform and leading Mass Transit Tech company with live operations in three continents, and Zenobē, the international EV fleet and battery storage specialist, have announced a partnership to drive the electrification of private bus transport in the UK.

The two companies have signed an agreement that will enable Zeelo’s network of 200 bus and coach operators to trial electric vehicles, including temporary charging infrastructure provided by Zenobē. 

The agreement includes the supply of trial fleets and charging infrastructure, enabling the first co-branded electric buses and coaches to get on the road for work and school commutes. The relationship will also allow Zeelo and Zenobē to work closely together to identify opportunities for large-scale fleet electrification, allowing operators in Zeelo’s network to reach net-zero in line with the UK’s legally binding 2050 targets. 

The partnership has already seen Zeelo and Zenobē support operator Airsym to launch new electric services, including the provision of an electric bus service for students at Dwight School London, and an electric coach that will operate at London Heathrow airport and as a shuttle service for staff at McLaren Automotive. 

Zenobē works with customers on end-to-end electrification solutions, including funding, operational support, charging infrastructure, battery replacement, and software. By working closely with customers, it makes electrification happen in an environmentally and financially sustainable way. Using Zenobē’s strong track record delivering fleet electrification and Zeelo’s partner network of UK bus operators and over 200 corporate and education clients running over 1.8 million bus rides per year, the companies aim to accelerate fleet decarbonisation across Zeelo’s privately contracted bus commutes. 

Bus and coach operators that wish to switch to electric fleets face challenges including the high upfront costs of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, a lack of confidence in new technology – including charging processes and vehicle range, and uncertainty about the commercial model. Zeelo and Zenobē aim to make clean transport an accessible option for Zeelo’s network of operators and its customers, by giving them the opportunity to test the technology.

Sam Ryan, CEO of Zeelo, commented: “Zeelo and Zenobē share a vision to drive the nation to cleaner transport and Zenobē is the ideal partner with its strong track record of electrifying depots for bus and coach operators. Zeelo has an ambitious vision not only to up-switch over 8 million Zeelo journeys per year to electric buses within the next 3-5 years, but also to support over 200 family-run bus and coach operators to be able to afford to invest in electric fleets. Transport is an essential public service alongside education and health and there is enormous scope to set an industry precedent for collaboration. Through our partnership with Zenobē we can help kick-start a national transition out of a reliance on diesel amid the fuel crisis. That doesn’t just mean cutting people a deal, but actually ensuring that electric buses feel comfortable and safe to drive and easy to charge.”

Steven Meersman, co-founder of Zenobē, commented: “We’re excited to join forces with fellow transport innovator Zeelo to explore ways to make it easier for bus and coach operators to switch to electric today. At Zenobē we’ve got a global goal to support 3,000 electric vehicles by 2025 and with this collaboration we’re allowing these operators to trial the technology. Electrification of both bus and coach will play a pivotal role in transport decarbonisation and can help Zeelo and its customers to achieve their zero emission commitments. We hope that together we can build confidence and appetite for a permanent solution. To be a truly sustainable working relationship, this needs to deliver environmental and financial gains for Zeelo and its partners, while providing cleaner, greener transport for students and commuters.”

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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