Electric buses planned for Hull and East Riding

Hull City Council’s Cabinet has approved plans to enable the purchase of 40 electric buses following a successful bid for the government's ZEBRA2 (zero emission bus regional areas) scheme.

The authority has also put up around £2 million of funding for the installation of charging infrastructure.

In December last year, the council, alongside Stagecoach, East Yorkshire Buses and East Riding of Yorkshire Council, submitted a joint bid to the Government’s ZEBRA2 scheme and was awarded nearly £6 million in March.

Cabinet’s approval is an important milestone and paves the way for replacing part of both Stagecoach and East Yorkshire Buses’ existing fleets, operating on public routes in the city, with fully electric buses, which run on rechargeable batteries and can have a range of up to several hundred miles.

The buses are charged externally, usually at the depot on a plug, after the end of service and, unlike diesel buses, produce no carbon emissions or nitrogen oxides, so can also contribute to improved air quality as well as combating climate change.

Councillor Mark Leronimo, cabinet portfolio holder for transportation, roads and highways at Hull City Council, said: “As a council, we are committed achieving net zero by 2045.

“These new electric buses will play an important part in combatting climate change by replacing parts of the existing diesel fleet on 16 of the 46 routes in the city.

“Electric buses are greener and cleaner and will have a transformative impact on public transport throughout the city.

“There are currently no electric or hybrid buses operating on public bus services in Hull so, in addition to the environmental benefits, the new vehicles will have a wider impact by changing how our residents, and visitors to the city, see buses and help encourage, and increase, passenger demand.

“The council’s capital investment towards infrastructure costs will act as a springboard for both bus operators to introduce electric buses in the city and support them to make future investments in fleet replacement.”  

Ben Gilligan, managing director of East Yorkshire Buses, said: “The news that we have funding to bring zero emission buses to Hull is a fantastic for our city and will make a real difference to the quality of the local environment due to the elimination of tailpipe emissions and reduced noise.

"This is a step change for the users of buses and will encourage more people to make the switch to sustainable transport modes.”

Matt Cranwell, managing director at Stagecoach East Midlands, added: “The bus operators in Hull are making a major capital investment in new electric buses to take public transport into the next era of cleaner, quieter, and more environmentally friendly service delivery.

"The council’s funding commitment towards infrastructure costs was a significant factor in the success of the Hull Bus Alliance submission for the Department for Transport’s ZEBRA grant.

“Buses underpin the local economy by providing essential transport connections for people to reach employment, education, healthcare and retail services, which makes investing in sustainable transport an important strategy for the future development of Hull.”