£120m electric bus fund launched for councils and bus firms

Battery storage supplier Zenobe Energy has launched a £120m financing fund for local authorities and bus companies to buy electric buses.

Zenobe hopes the fund will reduce the upfront cost of investment in electric fleets and overcome challenges related to grid constraints, charging infrastructure and the batteries themselves, which are often the most expensive aspect of electric buses.

The scheme can be used alongside grants from the government’s £48m Ultra-Low Emission Bus scheme, announced in February, which has seen a huge demand from both councils and bus companies who are under increasing pressure to transition to electric vehicles with all of the proposed Clean Air Zones across the country specifically targetting high polluting buses.

Zenobe says its solution will significantly reduce the upfront cost associated with zero emission buses making the price similar to diesel buses and also lowering the total lifecycle cost by as much as 30%.

Steven Meersman, co-founder of Zenobe Energy, said: ‘We’re thrilled to announce the Zenobe comprehensive funding solution which helps local councils and commercial fleet operators bring forward the rollout of zero-emission vehicles by several years.

‘Using our solutions, we can enable local authorities and operators to access a faster, cheaper and lower-risk way to transition to EVs.

‘We’re calling on organisations to work with us and provide the public with emission-free transport and last-mile deliveries now.

Jonathan Murray, policy and operations director at the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, who lead the UK government-sponsored EV Energy Task Force initiative added: ‘Many bus operators are looking to electrify their vehicles and are a key part of efforts to decarbonise road transport and improve air quality in some of our most polluted areas.

‘Buses require a lot of energy and this creates challenges – and opportunities – for the electricity grid.

‘This initiative from Zenobe Energy should be an important enabler of efforts on the part of vehicle operators to switch to zero emission vehicles, whilst making the electricity grid smarter and more resilient at the same time.’

LowCVP is hosting a free Zero Emission Bus Workshop Series near Guildford on June 13th to discuss how on-site battery storage has been deployed to support the electrification of bus services – Register via this link.

In related news, last month US electric bus manufacturer Proterra teamed up with Japanese investment firm Mitsui to create a $200m credit facility for bus companies to lease the batteries over the 12-year lifetime of their buses.

Photo credit – Zenobe Energy