By Scott Wright

Alexander Dennis Limited has handed a boost to its Falkirk workforce by securing a deal to design and assemble electric single and double deck buses in the UK.

The manufacturer has embarked on a partnership with BYD, the Chinese rechargeable battery specialist, which will ensure the buses for the British market are built at ADL sites in the UK, in Falkirk and Scarborough.

The news may be seen as a vote of confidence in the company’s workforce, which has been severely depleted by redundancies in recent months. Nearly 600 staff were made redundant by ADL at its sites in Falkirk, Scarborough and Guildford following a sharp fall in new bus orders in the wake of the pandemic taking hold. The Guildford site ceased production entirely.

Under the new deal, the electric bus chassis will be assembled at ADL facilities, with support provided by BYD on the ground. Work is planned to start in the second half of 2021.

The project has been hailed as a response to increasing demand for net zero emission vehicles, while underpinning jobs and developing skills in the growing market for clean vehicle technology.

The new deal builds on an existing partnership between ADL and BYD, which has supplied more than 70 per cent of the electric buses introduced to the UK since 2015. Until now the chassis for the buses have been built by BYD before being shipped to the UK to have bodywork fitted by ADL

Paul Davies, president and managing director of ADL, bought by North America’s NFI for £320 million in 2019, said: “I am delighted that we’re moving our electric bus partnership to this next level and building complete zero emission buses for the UK market in the UK.”