According to Public Health England (PHE), air pollution is the biggest environmental threat to health in the UK. Additionally, in 2017 road transport accounts for over 20% of all greenhouse gas emissions coming from the UK.
Consequently, to combat this, the UK bus industry has been pushing to transition their fleets over to low-emission options. As a result, The Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), has pledged to only invest in low-emission vehicles from 2025, over concerns surrounding climate change and air pollution.
As of February 2020, there were 200 electric buses in London, the largest deployment in any European city. Overall, 377 electric buses are operating across the UK, which is roughly only 1% of all buses in the country.
The increase in supply and delivery of electric buses comes with several benefits including financial and environmental.
Financial Benefits to Electric Buses
Due to their high efficiency, electric buses have a lower operating cost compared to diesel buses. Due to fewer moving parts, maintenance is generally lower for electric buses. Furthermore, there can be significant savings when it comes to fuel expenses.
Over the lifetime of a bus, these financial benefits can potentially save thousands of pounds, which can be invested back into the company.
Due to the nature of EVs, electric buses have a positive impact on the community. Reliable transport which offers a quiet, smooth ride will improve the sentiment among passengers. The lack of an engine results in reduced noise pollution and the smell of fumes.
Additionally, with buses usually operated in high-density areas, the reduced pollution helps electric buses provide cleaner air for the population.
Also , they have a large positive effect on the environment. A 2018 study found that even when electricity generated to operate and charge the buses were taken into account, electric buses produced significantly fewer greenhouse gases.
Furthermore, the Governments installation of 12 Low Emission Bus Zones should hopefully reduce emissions of NOx by up to 95%. Also, according to Public Health England (PHE), there are 28,000 to 36,000 deaths per year which are caused by air pollution.
Electric Buses in the UK
It has been announced by the Transport Secretary that Coventry and Oxford are developing proposals to become the first areas in the UK to run all-electric bus services. This is part of an initiative that saw an England-wide competition for £50 million in funding.
Additionally, for the successful case, the funding will be used to replace its entire fleet and install new infrastructure. This includies charging stations and an improved electric grid.
After receiving 19 bids, the Transport Secretary said:
“As we build back greener from Covid-19, we can provide people with more environmentally-friendly transport and cleaner air.
“Coventry and Oxford could soon be at the forefront of our plans for a new era of bus services, helping us develop the green transport network of the future and support jobs right here in the UK.”
This competition comes after the governmental announced a £5 billion investment for a new golden era of buses and active travel.
As mentioned, there are several benefits to electric buses which can impact everyone. Businesses are able to save money, while pedestrians and users have improved quality of life.
If you are considering purchasing electric buses for your fleet, get in touch with us today.