UK: Electric Buses Rolled Out in Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport

The first electric buses have entered service in Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport under a 28.6 million GBP project with First Bus South, Portsmouth City Council and Hampshire County Council.

This project will see 62 Wrightbus GB Kite Electroliner electric buses rolled out across the region by summer 2024 to be operated by First Bus South.

First Solent EV by Spinnaker Tower
First Solent EV by Spinnaker Tower

The new buses will help improve air quality while offering passengers a smoother and quieter ride. In addition, they are equipped with USB charging ports, digital and audio travel announcements and the latest accessibility features.

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO at Wrightbus, said:

“We are delighted to be supporting First Bus South in the drive to transform transport in the region and help build a more sustainable future. First Bus South, like us, is at the forefront of new and exciting technology, and our partnership enhances the reputation we have forged in playing an important part in the UK’s ambitions for decarbonisation.”

This 28.6 million GBP project is supported by 12.7 million GBP from the government’s ZEBRA scheme, along with a 15.9 million GBP investment from First Bus South.

Once all 62 electric buses are in operation, 42 percent of the fleet operated by First Bus Solent, operator of First Bus South, will be electric.

The vehicles will be based at First Bus Solent’s Hoeford depot in Fareham, where work is underway to support the charging and operation of the new fleet. In total, 66 electric charge heads will be based at this site, which will provide a rapid charge time of just 2.5 hours.

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

“So much hard work and planning has gone into getting us to this point and I’m so excited to see the first EV buses go out onto the roads to serve customers in Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport.

“These vehicles offer significant environmental benefits as they emit zero tailpipe emissions, which means better air quality for local people. What’s fantastic is that they’ll also improve the journey experience for our customers, providing a smoother, more comfortable ride. We hope that our passengers are as pleased with them as we are.”

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