National Express has partnered up with Zenobē, EV fleet and battery storage specialist, for the UK’s largest ever single electric vehicle (EV) bus fleet transaction that includes 130 electric double decker buses. The transaction will help the operator lead the way in the transition to a zero-emission fleet.
Zenobē will be providing Electric Transportation as a Service (ETaaS) to National Express. The risk-free availability model provides reliability and flexibility for the operator, removing the hassle of owning the electric vehicle fleet and allowing National Express to focus on driving improvements for new and existing customers, while maintaining the cheapest bus fares in England.
The pioneering model will shape the future of bus travel, making it easier, cheaper, and cleaner for all.
ETaaS contracts like this are a well-established model for other sectors, including rail, aircraft and shipping, but Zenobē is now bringing the many benefits to e-bus operators. In partnership with National Express, Zenobē will finance and manage the full turnkey solution that includes new vehicles, on-board battery replacement, charging and grid infrastructure, a second life battery system at the depot, unique software to optimise charging, parts, and full operational support.
This deal will see over 130 double-deck e-buses, manufactured in Britain by Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) in partnership with BYD, enter service in Coventry from early 2023 as a part of the city’s successful bid to become the country’s first all-electric bus city and take it a huge step closer to replacing around 300 diesel vehicles by 2025.
The ETaaS model removes the risks and overcomes the barriers associated with electrification of fleet. The ground-breaking offering streamlines the process and makes it more economical to switch fleets to electric than ever before, representing a significant step towards National Express’s commitment to achieving a zero-emission bus fleet by 2030 and the UK’s commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
With transport currently contributing 27 per cent of all UK emissions, the project will be encouraging local bus travel and reducing air pollution for Coventry and the wider West Midlands area.
The work builds on Zenobē’s existing partnership with National Express, previously providing charging infrastructure and batteries for electric buses in Coventry and Birmingham in 2020. The project will be financed partly through the partnership between Zenobē and National Express, with some investment also coming from the £50 million grant from the Department of Transport, awarded to the West Midlands Combined Authority for Coventry’s all-electric bus city scheme, enabling the public purse to go further.
The project will be implemented in phases with infrastructure works beginning in May 2022 to January 2023, and the first vehicle deliveries arriving at Coventry early in 2023. All buses will be double-decker e-buses built in Britain by Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) in partnership with BYD.