Stagecoach has celebrated the launch of the UKs first fully-electric city bus network in Inverness today (Thursday 2nd February), where they were joined by Minister for Transport Jenny Gilruth MSP.
25 brand-new zero-emission Yutong E10 buses are now operating on all city centre routes. The vehicles can operate from morning to evening on a single daily charge, and feature USB charging points at each seat, interior LED lights and contactless payment facilities. With no engine noise or vibration, passengers can look forward to a relaxing experience.
The £10.8m investment was supported by the Scottish Government’s Zero Emission Bus Challenge Fund (ScotZEB). Charging infrastructure was successfully installed at the Inverness depot ahead of the launch. Stagecoach use 100% renewable electricity across the business.
Stagecoach will launch two further fully-electric city bus networks in Perth and Dunfermline in the coming months.
Minister for Transport Jenny Gilruth said, “With this significant introduction of 25 new electric buses, Stagecoach is showing a welcome commitment to help meet Scotland’s world leading climate change targets.
“I’m pleased that the Scottish Government has been able to support the ambitions of Stagecoach in Inverness, as part of our Mission Zero for Transport, by providing £5.8 million through our Scottish Zero Emission Bus Scheme.
“In addition to better air quality and reduced noise pollution across the city, these modern zero-emission buses will offer an improved customer experience and help more people in Inverness to choose bus.”
Stagecoach Highlands Managing Director, David Beaton, said, “I am incredibly proud to be able to say that we’re now operating the UKs first fully-electric city bus network here in Inverness. It is a challenging time for the industry, and we still have some way to go, but we’re absolutely committed to improving public transport for our customers across the Highlands.”
Head of Yutong UK, Ian Downie, said, “We are honoured that Stagecoach have selected our market leading single decks for the UK’s first fully electric city bus network. Our tried, tested and proven product will bring a new standard for public transport due to its customer centric features, such as full air conditioning.”
Between 2021 and 2022, Stagecoach helped customers across the UK avoid nearly 20,000 tonnes of carbon emissions by providing them with more sustainable travel, rather than taking the car.
Stagecoach is on target for a zero emission UK bus fleet by 2035, and has introduced new electric buses across many parts of the country, including one of Europe’s biggest investment in e-buses in Manchester. A further 159 new electric buses will be introduced in 2023, including those in Inverness, bringing the total to 343.
In the Highlands, Stagecoach will shortly take delivery of 40 new Euro 6 vehicles for Aviemore and Tain to further renew the fleet and reduce carbon emissions on longer distance routes, as part of an ongoing investment into improving public transport in the area. In combination with the Inverness City Network, this totals a £40m investment in new vehicles and infrastructure for Stagecoach Highlands in 2022/2023.
Stagecoach Highlands also today confirmed that their airport service, service 11, will operate via the new Inverness Airport railway station, connecting rail passengers with the airport terminal.
The Scottish Government has set a legally binding target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2045. Transport has a critical role to play in the economy reaching net zero, as rising car use has resulted in a rise in carbon emissions from the sector.