The famous English university town of Oxford has officially launched a fleet of 159 new battery-powered buses. Some of the buses are already in service, and the city plans to convert all of its buses to zero-emission models.
Operators Go-Ahead and Stagecoach put up about half of the £82.5-million cost to deploy the e-buses, and the UK Department for Transport kicked in a £32.8-million grant. The Oxfordshire county council provided part of the funding, and also offered an innovative deal under which the council will guarantee private operators faster journey times in return for investment. The council is in the process of implementing traffic restrictions that are expected to reduce bus journey times by at least 10% compared with 2019 speeds, helping to ensure the viability of the private companies’ investment.
Oxford Bus Company, which will provide 104 of the 159 mostly double-decker electric buses, has installed a charging hub at its Cowley House depot that provides enough electricity to charge its entire fleet to drive 170 miles daily.
The city proudly points out that, once its new e-fleet is fully operational, it will have more electric buses per capita than London or Glasgow. According to EV advocacy group Zemo, there are currently some 2,776 battery-operated buses in service in the UK, including 1,400 in London and nearly 500 in Scotland.
Source: The Guardian