New era begins for electric bus travel in Warrington

The bus has been unveiled at a special Zero Emissions Bus Regional Area (ZEBRA) event in Warrington, providing the first opportunity for people to see the new, yellow vehicle which will soon be brightening up the streets of Warrington – providing greener, cleaner transport for everyone.

The eBus launch marks the final countdown for the arrival of Warrington’s all electric bus fleet, with 105 new buses arriving from this summer, which will replace Warrington’s Own Buses’ entire fleet of diesel buses. Warrington’s deal with Volvo for the state-of-the-art BZL Electric vehicles is one of the biggest orders of electric buses by any town or city in the UK to date.

The council has also signed a deal with EO Charging – a leading provider of electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions for fleets – to supply the chargers at Warrington’s new bus depot which will power the new electric vehicles. As part of the council’s commitment to tackling the climate emergency, all the charging will be powered by 100% green energy.

The project is being supported through funding from the Department for Transport’s ZEBRA scheme, which aims to deliver up to 4,000 zero-emission buses across the country.

Warrington Borough Council Leader and Cabinet Member for highways and transport, Cllr Hans Mundry, said: “These are exciting times for Warrington, with the introduction of our all-electric fleet set to transform bus travel in our borough.

“Our 105 buses will bring massive benefits for passengers, providing safe, quiet and comfortable journeys. These are buses which are truly fit for the future, with zero tailpipe emissions, which will improve air quality and support our work to tackle the climate emergency.

“We’ve made our ambitions clear, through our Local Transport Plan, to reduce emissions and congestion, increase the share of journeys made by bus and build sustainable transport into everyday life in Warrington. Our new electric buses will play a massive role in us achieving this.

“At the same time, we’ve been making enhancing our services across the board. This includes reduced fares – such as the newly announced £1 fare cap for all under 22s and free travel for all care leavers – enhanced timetables, all day concessionary pass use and new and improved bus shelters. Supported by these major improvements, our new electric fleet is set to usher in a bright new era for bus travel in Warrington.”

The state-of-the-art Volvo BZL Electric, which will soon be making Warrington its home, provides clean, near-silent, comfortable and efficient public transport for citizens. It is built to a high safety standard and complies with the toughest restrictions on emissions and noise.

Launched in 2021, the zero-tailpipe emissions vehicle features low interior noise, making it easier for passengers to talk to others or listen to music during the ride, with the driver also benefiting from a calm and quiet workspace. The silent propulsion also reduces noise for residents along the route.

Warrington’s Own Buses covers 85% of the bus mileage in the borough, and the conversion of its entire fleet to all-electric supports Warrington’s ambitions to introduce greener, cleaner and more sustainable transport options throughout the borough.

Domenico Bondi, Managing Director for Volvo Bus UK & Ireland, says: “This has been an exciting project to work on with the team in Warrington, building a sustainable and future-proof electric bus system which is going to be truly world-class. At Volvo Buses, we are incredibly proud of our commitment to sustainability, safety, and quality, and we are confident the BZL Electric buses will bring a wealth of benefits which will be felt across the local community.”

Charlie Jardine, CEO at EO Charging, said: “Of all the vehicles on the road globally, commercial vehicles account for nearly half of road emissions. This is why fleet electrification is so critical, even more so than consumer vehicle electrification, in reducing carbon emissions globally.

“At EO, we are on a mission to power a greener future and accelerate the global transition to electric fleets – making net zero transport a reality. The bus sector is critical for us, and we’ve been lucky to work with some fantastic partners who hold the same values. Working with Warrington’s Own Buses and Volvo Buses shows those values put into action with a project that will usher in Warrington’s green transport era.”

The council has been working closely with local operators to build a better bus service to support the arrival of the new electric bus fleet, as part of the borough’s Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP). Under the banner of ‘Better by Bus’, a range of improvements have been made to services, including:

  • Fares capped at £2 single for adults in Warrington.
  • £1 single anywhere in Warrington for young people aged 5-18 – with this expanded to 19–21-year-olds from 1 April.
  • Free concessionary pass travel at any time of the day, 7 days a week.
  • Free travel to be introduced for care leavers from 1 April.
  • Enhanced timetables.
  • Brand new bus shelters across the network

Volvo Buses has worked in close partnership with MCV Bus and Coach to develop the bodywork for the BZL Electric range, tailoring it specifically for UK fleets. As part of Volvo Group, Volvo Buses brings a wealth of experience in electromobility and is able to offer strong and reliable aftersales support through the Volvo Truck and Bus dealer network.

Ben Wakerley, Managing Director of Warrington’s Own Buses, said: “Warrington Borough Council have been very forward thinking with their commitment to improving air quality and improving bus journey times in the town. It is our pleasure to work in partnership with them, the UK government and all those involved in delivering this important project”.


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