The central England city of Coventry is on track to become the first city in the United Kingdom to operate only electric buses, after the city announced it will introduce a fleet of 130 electric double decker buses in 2023.
National Express Coventry, the largest bus operator in the West Midlands and one of the largest in the UK, announced the purchase of the 130 electric double decker buses as part of its £140 million All Electric Bus City project.
The project is backed by £50 million in funding from the UK Department of Transport. Already, 10 fully electric buses have been operating across the city since the Northern Summer of 2020 following a £2.2 million grant to the Coventry City Council from the UK government’s Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme.
Each of the British-built buses can charge to capacity in four hours and has a range of 220-kilometres in the winter, or around 280-kilometres during the summer.
National Express Coventry has also promised to order more electric buses at a later date, with the aim of ensuring up to 300 electric buses are running on the streets of Coventry and guaranteeing an all-electric fleet by 2025.
“These clean and green double decker buses will not only be fantastic for passengers with their comfort and state-of-the-art technology, but it will also help in reducing air pollution and tackling the climate emergency,” said Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands and Chair of the WMCA.
TfWM is also working with the Coventry City Council on deploying the charging infrastructure needed to charge the new buses, which will include upgrades to bus depots and charging points at Pool Meadow Bus Station, which already boasts solar panels.
Joshua S. Hill is a Melbourne-based journalist who has been writing about climate change, clean technology, and electric vehicles for over 15 years. He has been reporting on electric vehicles and clean technologies for Renew Economy and The Driven since 2012. His preferred mode of transport is his feet.