Milestone for National Express and Zenobe Energy, as first double decker electric buses launch in Coventry
- 10 brand new double decker electric buses and dedicated rapid chargers are the result of a ground-breaking partnership between National Express and Zenobe Energy, providing zero emission transport for bus users in Coventry
- Zenobe Energy look after the batteries on the bus, as well as maintain the charging infrastructure in the bus depot
- Project comes following a pledge by National Express Group to be the first zero emission transport group in the UK
Zenobe Energy, leading UK owner and operator of battery storage, today welcomes the launch of National Express Group’s first electric buses on its Coventry network. Linking the city centre and University Hospital, the first buses will begin operating this Sunday.
The move is another important step taken by National Express Group, following a pledge earlier this year to transition to a fully zero emission UK bus fleet by 2030.
Zenobe, which powers 25% of the EV bus market in the UK, is providing National Express Coventry with its end-to-end solution, including batteries, the charging system at the depot with 10 dedicated rapid chargers and a software platform which helps monitor and optimise energy use.
National Express Group operates bus, coach and rail services across the UK, Europe, North Africa, North America and the Middle East. The first 19 Zenobe-powered buses were launched on National Express West Midlands’ number 6 service between Birmingham city centre and Solihull last month.
10 more brand new electric buses are now being rolled out by National Express Coventry. All 29 buses have been manufactured by Alexander Dennis Ltd (ADL) and BYD Europe.
Coventry, like many towns and cities in the UK, has high levels of air pollution, particularly in areas close to high levels of traffic. In order to avoid a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) the city has developed a series of alternative measures to improve air quality levels, including better traffic management, cycle routes and the introduction of electric buses.
As part of the West Midlands Bus Alliance, National Express Coventry has also been working with Transport for West Midlands and Coventry City Council to upgrade older vehicles with new exhaust systems that trap harmful particulates and NOx gases, which actually means that the air coming out of them is cleaner than the air going in.
With cars being one of the largest contributors of CO2 and NOx emissions, there is an urgent need to address the causes of poor air quality. The partnership between Zenobe and National Express Coventry supports the city’s commitment to reduce harmful emissions and has helped accelerate the introduction of zero emission buses onto Coventry’s roads.
In May 2019, Zenobe announced its £120 million partnership funding for fleet operators, helping boost funding and bring electric vehicles to cities and towns across the UK. Zenobe-powered buses already operate on the roads in Guildford, Newport, and will launch in Leeds in the coming months, with other announcements to follow throughout the year.
Steven Meersman, co-founder of Zenobe Energy, said:
“We are delighted to see our partnership with National Express help improve air quality in Coventry. Our solution is helping Coventry and National Express meet net-zero commitments, reduce pollution and ultimately save lives.”
“Our service-based model means we’re there for our partners throughout the journey, not just on day one. During an uncertain period, we hope our work alongside transport operators can help ensure that the UK continues working towards a cleaner, greener future.”
Martin Hancock, Development Director at National Express Bus, said:
“In our ambition to become the UK’s most sustainable transport company, National Express Bus has set itself the bold target of having a fully zero emission fleet by 2030.
“To achieve this in such a timescale, we need to be innovative. It’s absolutely critical that we deliver for our customers. We need a reliable solution so we know our buses will start in the morning - every morning. So we are very pleased to be partnering with Zenobe in our electrification of our bus depot.”
“By collaborating with Zenobe, we have been able to utilise a professional turnkey solution that has clearly demonstrated their position as a market leader in the field of battery supported charging infrastructure.”