Perth-based transport giant Stagecoach is to invest more than £4 million on new electric buses for the city.
The company is investing £21.4m on 46 electric buses to be used in Aberdeen, Kilmarnock and Perth.
The move comes after being awarded £8.9m funding through the Scottish Government’s Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme.
The spend for nine single-decker vehicles in Perth will total £4.4m with £11m for Aberdeen buses and £6m for Kilmarnock.
All the buses all built in Scotland by manufacturer Alexander Dennis Limited with Perth and Aberdeen infrastructure provided by SSE.
Protect and grow Scottish jobs
Sam Greer, regional director for Stagecoach in Scotland, said: “Sustainable public transport is critical to the future of our planet: decarbonising local journeys, reducing road congestion, improving air quality and tackling climate change.
“We welcome today’s announcement by Scottish Government of additional funding to support the roll out of 46 new electric buses in Scotland.
“This major investment will also provide a boost for Scotland’s world-leading bus manufacturing sector, helping to protect and grow jobs in Scotland.
“As major investment is made in zero and low emission buses, it also enables us to build further on developing in skills and training for our engineering teams to maintain the new greener fleet as we transition to new zero emission technologies.”
What is the Government contributing to vehicle spend?
Government funding under the Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme was awarded to bus operators following a competitive bidding process.
The Government scheme helps bus companies invest in electric vehicles and associated infrastructure.
This is to support a green recovery out of the coronavirus pandemic, improve air quality and advance Scotland’s ambitions for a net-zero economy.
Scottish Government has set a legally binding target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2045.
Stagecoach has recently announced that it is targeting a zero-emissions bus fleet by 2035.
The award from Scottish Government also includes funding for electric infrastructure for depots.
SSE’s involvement in electric programme
Stagecoach is partnering with Perth-headquartered low carbon energy company SSE to deliver the new electrical infrastructure needed.
Kevin Welstead, EV sector for SSE Enterprise, added: “SSE Enterprise is delighted to partner with Stagecoach to help them deliver their planned bus electrification programme across Scotland.
“Ensuring that we provide this and the next generation with clean and green public transport is a priority for us.”
Over the past decade, Stagecoach has invested more than £1 billion in 7,000 new greener vehicles. This is more than any other operator in the UK.
Independent research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research published last year showed that without Stagecoach bus services, there would be an annual increase of 190,000 tonnes of CO2 through passengers using alternative transport, mainly cars.
Some £343m in congestion-related savings are also delivered by Stagecoach through a reduction of 1.22 billion miles of traffic.
Union welcome to investment
A total of 172 green buses will be built at Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) in Falkirk under the Government-backed programme.
Union Unite said this will improve the outlook for the plant following significant job losses in 2020.
Willie Thomson, Unite regional officer said: “The success of ADL in winning these orders is a testament to the highly skilled workforce and world leading buses they manufacture.
“It brings some welcome news following an extremely difficult 12 months. Workers can hopefully start to see a more positive and secure 2021.”