Thirty new zero-emission buses from leading manufacturer Wrightbus will be entering service in London thanks to a new financing deal.
The Electroliner buses - the world’s most efficient battery electric double-deck bus - will be operated by Abellio from its Twickenham depot, running on Route 111.
The state-of-the-art vehicles, built in Ballymena, are fully zero-emission and will replace old diesel buses, saving around 1,750 tonnes of CO2 from polluting the environment each year.
The vehicles have been financed through the first non-recourse financing of zero-emission buses in the UK in a consortium led by Rock Road Holdings Ltd and the Mayoral Energy Efficiency Fund (MEEF). Rock Road aims to use this project as a launchpad to roll out its funding solution and help accelerate the procurement of more zero-emission buses in London as the Capital targets a fully zero-emission bus fleet by 2030.
Ben Werth, Chief Commercial Officer at Wrightbus, said: “We are delighted to be providing 30 Electroliners – the world’s most efficient battery-electric double deck bus – for this important and busy London route. Our buses have a second-to-none reputation for providing passenger and driver comfort while at the same time contributing significantly to the reduction of emissions in the cities they serve. Public transport is a key component in the race to net zero and we are proud to be at the forefront of this.”
Mark Swindell, Rock Rail & Road CEO, said: “Back at COP26, Rock made the decision to widen its scope into a new sector to accelerate the decarbonisation of public transport and to further support the UK to reach its Net Zero targets. We set out to provide operators with a new type of funding for zero-emission buses that reduces the impact on balance sheets, allows operators to retain full control over their fleet and absorbs two key risks, namely: residual value and battery replacement.”
Shirley Rodrigues, London Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy said: “Electrifying London’s bus fleet is an important step towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions and tackling the devastating effects of toxic air pollution on public health. Our ambitious target for London to reach net-zero by 2030 requires investment to rapidly decarbonise our homes, offices, energy systems and transport. This investment from MEEF shows the vital role public sector funds can play in unlocking the private sector investment needed to accelerate our net zero efforts and help Londoners breathe cleaner air as we build a greener and better London for everyone.”
Alastair Willis, Head of Commercial at Abellio, said: “Abellio London is proud to support TfL’s vision to decarbonise London and create cleaner and greener streets for all Londoners. By introducing these new state-of-the-art Wrightbus Electroliners with the enhanced features inside the bus, we will provide safe, comfortable and sustainable journeys for even more Londoners. Funding from Rock Road supports us as an operator to lead the way on EV bus technology in London.”