Coventry will earn £50 million to finance 297 all-electric buses after the West Midlands Combined Authority Board approved the final business plan at a meeting today.
As a result, Coventry will be the country’s first city to have all electric buses. By 2025, the goal is to be completed.
The city’s bid emphasised how the scheme will assist in addressing low air quality.
The Department of Transport is providing funds to help increase air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and lower bus operating costs. Electric buses can also have a more convenient ride for riders, increasing the number of people who use buses to get around the area. It is estimated that it would save about 55 tonnes of nitrogen dioxide each year, according to highway officers.
The project will begin next month.
Coventry City Council, Warwickshire County Council, and Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority, were successful in their bid (WMCA).
The grant would finance improvements in larger infrastructure, such as charging stations and electric grid enhancements, in addition to financing for new vehicles.
The £50 million will be balanced by a £78 million investment from local bus providers in new hybrid buses, depot charging points, and power upgrades.
“We have now got this across the line after we were able to persuade the government that this city is the perfect location,” said Councillor Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs and Transformation at Coventry City Council.
We were able to convince the combined authority to accept our bid ahead of other regions in the West Midlands, and this would help to reduce air emissions dramatically. We also have a lot of measures in place to boost air quality, and this will help us achieve our goals.”
“We have outstanding working arrangements with the city’s bus operators, and these are great days for us all. The real job begins now.”
All future buses running in the city after winter 2025 will be needed to be all electric, according to the all-electric bus city scheme.
National Express Coventry’s Managing Director, David Bradford, said:
“As members of the West Midlands Bus Alliance, we collaborate closely with Coventry City Council and Transport for West Midlands to provide safe, accessible, and environmentally friendly transportation to the communities we represent.
“National Express confidently revealed our intention to have a fully zero-emission bus fleet by 2030 early last year. The arrival of our first ten fully electric buses in Coventry, as well as 19 others throughout the West Midlands area, followed closely.
“As a result, we are ecstatic that Coventry will become the UK’s first all-electric bus city, and we look forward to continuing to collaborate in the future, both to promote local employment and industries in Coventry and around the UK, as well as to further boost local air quality by encouraging more residents to use public transportation.
“Taking the bus is the simplest and most cost-effective way to clean our environment and combat climate change. We already have a robust network of bus services in Coventry, and we’ve frozen fares once more this year to ensure that bus travel stays inexpensive and open to everyone.
“We all have a role to play in making cleaner, greener decisions, but bear in mind that a double decker bus will eliminate up to 75 cars from the route. We will minimise the amount of traffic on our highways by taking public transit, which makes trips easier and the environment safer for everyone’s lungs.
“Bringing hundreds of electric buses to Coventry would supplement other Bus Partnership projects to accelerate even more changes for current and existing bus customers.”
The investment in buses will supplement other projects in Coventry that feature and encourage electric car use, such as the electrification of the Council’s own fleet of cars and the promotion of electric taxis.