Stagecoach has announced that it will be introducing a further 46 new fully electric buses across Scotland.

The move represents an investment of £21.4m following additional funding being awarded through a second round of the Scottish Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme.

The Scottish Government has awarded £40.5 million through a second round of the Scottish Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme. 

With 172 of the buses to be built in Falkirk, this investment supports skilled, green manufacturing jobs in Scotland, as well as reducing transport emissions.

The initiative, which helps bus companies invest in electric vehicles and associated infrastructure to support a green recovery out of the coronavirus pandemic will aid Stagecoach in supporting the Scottish Government’s environmental targets. 

The Scottish Government has set a legally binding target to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2045 with Stagecoach targeting a zero-emissions bus fleet by 2035.

Funding has been awarded to bus operators following a competitive bidding process with the Scottish Government investing £8.9m from its grant scheme in the new Stagecoach buses.

The new electric bus will see:

  • 22 electric double-decker ADL E400 buses for use in Aberdeen City
  • 15 electric single-decker ADL E200 buses for use on Kilmarnock Town Services 3, 6 and 7
  • 9 electric single-decker ADL E200 single-deckers for use in Perth on bus routes 1 and 2.

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The new buses will all be built in Falkirk by leading independent global bus manufacturer ADL in partnership with BYD, the company’s partner for electric buses in the UK and Ireland.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: “The Scottish Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme continues to help drive a green recovery, responding to the global climate emergency and improving air quality.

“Ensuring a just and fair transition to a net-zero economy is a truly national endeavour and I’m delighted that the Scottish Government’s investment is matched by private investment from bus operators and the finance sector. 172 of these new buses will be manufactured in Falkirk – benefitting the Scottish bus industry and wider supply chain.

“More journeys are made by bus compared to any other public transport mode and a vibrant bus industry can provide the solutions to complex challenges in our society. By helping operators to invest in a greener fleet we can support our green recovery – and keep more people moving with fewer carbon emissions and better air quality as a result.

“Our bus decarbonisation work, both through SULEBS and the Taskforce, is part of a wider package of support for our bus industry – including long-term funding of over £500 million for bus priority infrastructure. We’re also providing support of up to £191.3 to help maintain essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic and help keep Scotland moving.”

The award from Scottish Government also includes funding for electric infrastructure for depots. Stagecoach is partnering with SSE to deliver the new electrical infrastructure needed in Aberdeen and Perth depots.

Sam Greer, Regional Director for Stagecoach in Scotland, said: “Sustainable public transport is critical to the future of our planet: decarbonising local journeys, reducing road congestion, improving air quality, and tackling climate change.

"We welcome today’s announcement by Scottish Government of additional funding to support the roll-out of 46 new electric buses in Scotland.

“This major investment will also provide a boost for Scotland’s world-leading bus manufacturing sector, helping to protect and grow jobs in Scotland.

"As major investment is made in zero and low emission buses, it also enables us to build further on developing in skills and training for our engineering teams to maintain the new greener fleet as we transition to new zero-emission technologies.

“As Scotland gears up to host the COP 26 climate change summit in November, it’s a crucial time for us all to think about how we can help deliver a greener recovery from Covid-19.

"Major investment in new zero-emission buses also needs to be matched by better road infrastructure and more bus priority measures to help encourage people to make the switch from car to sustainable public transport.”

Paul Davies, ADL President & Managing Director, said: “This substantial order of new electric buses continues Stagecoach’s track record of strong investment in cleaner buses. We look forward to working closely with Stagecoach to get these new buses onto the roads of Aberdeen, Perth and Kilmarnock at pace.

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“These zero-emission buses will be built at our factory in Falkirk and it is great news for Scotland that this investment is being recycled into the local economy, allowing the benefits to be felt across our communities whilst helping to underpin skilled jobs.”

Kevin Welstead EV Sector for SSE Enterprise said: “SSE Enterprise is delighted to partner with Stagecoach to help them deliver their planned bus electrification programme across Scotland.

"Ensuring that we provide this and the next generation with clean and green public transport is a priority for us – especially with COP26 coming to Glasgow this year, of which we are proud to be a major sponsor.”

Independent research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research* (Cebr) published last year shows that Stagecoach delivers cleaner communities and annually saves £12.4million in emissions impact costs, which could power 9,800 homes for a year.

Without Stagecoach bus services, there would be an annual increase of 190,000 tonnes of CO2 through passengers using alternative transport, mainly cars. Some £343 million in potential congestion-related savings are also delivered by Stagecoach through a reduction of 1.22 billion miles of traffic.