First Bus Launches Wrightbus Electric Buses in Norwich

In Norwich, First Bus has started operating its first seven StreetDeck Electroliner electric buses manufactured by Wrightbus.

These vehicles are the first of a fleet of 70 that will be deployed in Norwich over the coming months. By March 2024, the electric double-deckers will replace all diesel buses operating out of First Bus’ Roundtree Way depot, which has been transformed to function as an all-electric depot.

This introduction will mean that by 2024, over half of the Norwich network operated by First Bus will be electrified.

New electric double-decker buses in Norwich
New electric double-decker buses in Norwich

The StreetDeck Electroliner is the world’s most efficient double-deck battery-electric bus. The units have been built at Wrightbus’s factory in Ballymena as part of First Bus’ mission to convert its entire fleet to zero tailpipe emissions by 2035.

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Wrightbus, said:

“We’re delighted to be working with First Bus to help the company achieve its net-zero ambitions. It has been a real team effort between Wrightbus, First Bus and the local authority to deliver this significant deal.”

To purchase the new vehicles, First Bus and Norfolk County Council secured a 14.7 million GBP grant from the Department for Transport’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Area (ZEBRA) scheme.

This investment is matched with around 23 million GBP of funding from First Bus.

Piers Marlow, Managing Director of First East of England, said:

“It’s incredibly exciting, after all the hard work and planning that has gone into this project so far, that the first vehicles are going out onto the road to serve customers in Norwich.

“These vehicles offer significant environmental benefits, saving around 75 tonnes of CO2 per vehicle per year when compared to a diesel bus, and will improve the air quality for the city’s residents and visitors as they emit zero tailpipe emissions.

“Importantly, they will also improve the journey experience for our customers, and are fitted with all the modern features, offering a quieter and smoother ride, USB charging points, and good accessibility features. We hope that Norwich’s bus users are as pleased with them as we are.”

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