Work starts on UK's biggest electric bus charging station
Work has begun on a new project by First Bus that will transform its Glasgow Caledonia bus depot into the UK’s largest Electric Vehicle (EV) charging hub for buses.
The Caledonia depot, already the UK’s largest bus depot, is designed to have space to charge up to 300 EV buses on site. The first phase of the project, now underway, will see 11 dual DC rapid charging units installed, with an additional 69 installed in Phase Two from this summer, increasing the number of chargers on the site to 162.
Phase One of the depot transformation is expected to be complete by September this year, allowing for the introduction of a further 22 electric buses to Glasgow’s streets ahead of the COP26, the United Nations Climate Change conference.
The phased completion is scheduled across the next 18 months.
This transformation is being supported by £35.6m in part funded by £28.2m from the Scottish Government’s Scottish Ultra Low Bus Scheme (SULEB).
Janette Bell, Managing Director for First Bus UK said: “First Bus is at the forefront of the green transport revolution, and we continue to fast-track our efforts to surpass passenger expectations. We are proud to be announcing the UK’s largest EV charging infrastructure as part of our transition to a zero-emission fleet.
“We are making excellent progress on our commitments to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions in our communities. By improving the air quality in the areas we operate within, we are supporting the health of our customers, and by cutting carbon emissions we are putting our weight behind Scotland’s ambitious plans for tackling the global threat of climate change.
“Launching this project at Caledonia depot, the largest of its kind, is a very exciting next step and reinforces that both First Bus and our stakeholders are making continued investment in the future of bus.”
Following completion, the adapted depot will have the capability to charge 89% of the depot’s electric bus fleet at the same time using smart charging software. First Bus’ long-term objective is to ensure that the site is fully prepared for the transition to a 100% zero-emission fleet. This will include opportunities for further on-site renewable energy generation and storage.
The plans mark another major milestone on First Bus’s sustainable travel roadmap and follows its pledge to only invest in zero-emission vehicles from December 2022, with a 100% zero-emission fleet by 2035.