First Bus’ Summercourt depot in Cornwall has become the first bus depot in the UK to offer electric charging to the public.

The purpose-built charging hub is a first-of-its-kind in the bus industry, providing direct access to rapid electric charging infrastructure for the public’s electric cars and vans.

An EV charger open to the public at the Summercourt Bus depot
An EV charger open to the public at the Summercourt Bus depot

The site is easily accessible along the A30 corridor, which is a key tourist route into Cornwall. The facility will therefore help reduce drivers’ range anxiety as they travel through the county.

Simon Goff, First Bus South’s Managing Director, said:

Opening the Summercourt hub is a hugely exciting step forward in our decarbonisation journey. For local people, visitors and business, the new hub ensures EV drivers can charge their vehicles on a reliable connection at a fair price.

We’re the first bus operator to offer consumer charging and I’m proud that we’re able to support the local community with this vital infrastructure that will make a difference for many years to come.

Specifically, the ‘turn up and charge’ hub offer eight rapid chargers with rates of up to 150kW. This means that an average family car can be charged to 80% in around 30 minutes.

Refreshments, restrooms and waiting area are available on site and payment can be made via a contactless credit card, with no app or signup required. The charging service costs 69p/kWh.

The site is now open to the public 06.00-22.00, 7 days a week.

This is a result of a 12-month project with a 1 million GBP investment from First Bus to provide the local area with the electric charging infrastructure.

Malcolm Bell, Executive Chairman, Visit Cornwall, said:

Visit Cornwall really welcomes this investment as we know that many people with EV are desperate to see an improvement in the charging infrastructure in Cornwall. Its proximity close to the A30 is excellent for not only local people but visitors making longer journeys.

The chargers at Summercourt are also available for local businesses, following a successful model by First Bus in Glasgow and Leicester. In these locations, companies such as Open Reach, DPD and Police Scotland are now using the operator’s infrastructure to support their transition to electric vehicles.


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