This article first appeared in the Bus-News magazine, Issue 1 2023.
By Mike Nugent, Head of Hitachi ZeroCarbon EV
Decarbonisation is the number one challenge for bus fleet managers today.
Soon it will no longer be possible to buy new internal combustion engine buses and low-emission zone charges will make it increasingly costly to run them. The pressure is on to transition primarily to electric buses soon. However, there are significant challenges for fleet managers to overcome.
Effectively addressing the challenges of the climate crisis requires businesses, governments, finance providers and communities to work together. First Bus is proving how this can work in practice.
First Bus is taking considerable strides to meet these challenges head-on and decarbonise its fleet. At its flagship Caledonia bus depot in Glasgow, the bus operator has transformed its depot into the UK’s largest EV charging hub, with space to charge up to 300 electric buses at the site.
Leveraging funding from the Scottish Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme (SULEBS) and ScotZEB (Scottish Zero Emission Buses), Hitachi ZeroCarbon is delivering an ‘as a service’ offering that includes bus batteries for First Bus’s fleet, smart charging software to manage and optimise the EV charging, and a decarbonisation programme that will explore low-carbon opportunities.
The depot also generates and consumes its own electricity via solar PV as well as meeting local community environmental, social and governance (ESG) needs by delivering zero-carbon charging hubs for use by other local businesses.
As a Principal Partner of COP26, Hitachi Europe played a pivotal role at the climate change conference and delivered a ‘Together for our planet’ event with First Bus at the Caledonia depot, reinforcing both companies’ commitment to lead the decarbonisation of public transport.
Hitachi and FirstGroup will purchase up to 1,000 electric bus batteries through a new joint venture for FirstGroup’s First Bus division.
Join Hitachi ZeroCarbon's webinar on 29 June to learn how to overcome electrification challenges using a fleet transition strategy.
Use the form opposite to get in touch with Hitachi ZeroCarbon directly to discuss any requirements you might have.