Club Partners team up to launch electric buses

Club Partners team up to launch electric buses

The club's official Community Partner SP Energy Networks has funded a piece of Glasgow transport history, following the introduction of the city's first fully electric buses in over 50 years in association with official Club Partner First Bus.

Fully funded as part of SP Energy Networks’ £20 million Green Economy Fund, which supports Glasgow’s mission to become the UK’s first net zero emissions city by 2030, the buses mark a statement of intent for the city’s transport. The launch of these vehicles means the city has now come full circle back to fully electric transport on commercial routes for the first time since the electric trolley buses were decommissioned by the Glasgow Corporation in May 1967.

The new vehicles – which will service the M3 route connecting communities in Milton and Springburn with Stobhill Hospital and the city centre – also contribute to the Scottish Government’s ambitious plans to meet climate change targets, boost local economic growth, improve air quality across the country and deliver a better future, quicker for our communities.

The new single decker buses were revealed this morning on Glasgow’s George Square before going on a tour of the city. 14 lucky pupils from St Joseph’s Primary School were among the first to hop on board when it stopped at the school gates and they were welcomed on board by Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction at Glasgow City Council, who has led the charge for country’s first Low Emission Zone in Glasgow.

As part of the SP Energy Networks funding deal, First Glasgow will also introduce 22 electric vehicle charging points in its Glasgow Caledonia Depot which will ultimately allow more electric buses to be introduced by First Glasgow into Glasgow’s transport network in the future.

First Glasgow has already invested over £31 million over the last two years with the introduction of 150 brand new euro VI ultra-low emission vehicles for Greater Glasgow, whilst retrofitting another 49 mid-life vehicles to speed up the switch to low emission standards in support of Scotland’s first low emission zone in Glasgow city centre.

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, attended First Glasgow’s Caledonia Depot to plug the new electric buses in for their first charge and is delighted with the new addition to the city’s bus fleet.

Frank Mitchell, CEO at SP Energy Networks, said: “Glasgow has ambitious plans to be the UK’s first net zero carbon city by 2030 but for that to happen there will be big changes across the city. The introduction of the low emission zone was the city’s first big test and sets out a marker for it’s ambitions.

“The introduction of this new electric bus technology which will ultimately improve air quality and noise pollution in the city centre and other communities. We are very proud to be supporting this historic moment for Glasgow by fully funding the infrastructure and vehicles for its first completely electric bus route since the 1960s.”

Andrew Jarvis, Managing Director for First Glasgow, said: “We are delighted to launch the city’s first conversion of a commercial bus service to fully electric operation. The whole team at First Glasgow are thrilled to be teamed up with SP Energy Networks in order to bring these state-of-the-art zero emission vehicles to the people of Glasgow and the M3 route.

“As a business, one of our main goals is to make buses part of the solution when it comes to improving air quality in the city. We’ve already invested £31million in the last two years. By working with Glasgow City Council and Transport Scotland, we plan to make great strides forward in doing our bit to improve the city’s air quality and making Glasgow a cleaner and greener place to live and work.”

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, said: “It is a real pleasure to see First launch their fully electric buses in Glasgow, following funding from SP Energy Networks. Scotland was one of the first countries to acknowledge that we are facing a global climate emergency and we have legislated for the most ambitious carbon reduction target of any country in the world.

“A key part of our plans is encouraging greater use of public transport as well as phasing out petrol and diesel vehicles. It’s so great to see First and SP Energy Networks playing their part in helping us to achieve our goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2045.”

The new buses will go into service on Monday 13 January.

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