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Electric buses to be deployed in Dundee street that’s air quality blackspot

Xplore Dundees current Euro 6 diesel Emeralds - the new all electric vehicles will look very similar.
Xplore Dundees current Euro 6 diesel Emeralds - the new all electric vehicles will look very similar.

Electric buses will be sent into a pollution blackspot in Dundee in a bid to improve air quality.

Xplore Dundee is making the multi-million pound investment to help improve the city’s air.

The 12 Electric Emeralds vehicles will arrive in Dundee later this year.

Dundee air quality blackspot

Managing director Christine McGlasson explained: “We plan to operate the Electric Emeralds on Service 28.

“This is a high-frequency route which uses Lochee Road and is an air quality blackspot in Dundee.

“Buses only contribute to 5% of the emissions on this route.

Xplore Dundee managing director Christine McGlasson.

“But we are proud to be doing our bit to help clean up the air in this area.

“We hope these new buses will also attract more passengers, which will help take more cars off the road and reduce congestion.

“This would help to speed up public transport and improve air quality in our city.”

Scottish manufacture

The new vehicles will be manufactured and built in Falkirk by Alexander Dennis Limited.

The £5.7 million investment by Xplore Dundee’s new owners McGill’s Buses is supported by the Scottish Government’s Ultra Low Emission Bus Scheme.

McGill’s Buses are also investing in a further 22 EVs from Pelican Yutong, which means that by the end of 2021 the group will have more electric buses than any other Scottish operator.

An Xplore Dundee sign.

The total investment for the 35 buses is £17.5m.

“It’s really exciting to finally be bringing our first fleet of zero-emission buses to Dundee’s streets,” Ms McGlasson added.

“We’re committed to making services better for our customers, with more comfortable, quiet vehicles, as well as contributing to public health and the fight against climate change.

“Cleaner buses means cleaner air in our city, which will benefit everyone.”

McGill’s will also install new electrical charging infrastructure for its depots in Johnstone and Dundee.

McGill’s investment in vehicles

In addition to the all-electric transportation, McGill’s also announced that it is in advanced talks with a variety of partners to bring 12 hydrogen buses into the business in the next 12 months.

The new fleet purchase takes McGill’s capital investment since 2014 to more than £50m – around £40m of which has been spent on new vehicles.

Ms McGlasson added: “We already operate the cleanest diesel buses on our network.

Managing Director of Xplore Dundee Christine McGlasson

“We’re in the process of upgrading our older engines to this standard too.

“These 12 Scottish-built EVs are a significant step towards phasing out diesel buses altogether and building our zero emission fleet.

“We’re investing in the future to create a better experience for our passengers and a better environment in our community.”

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