Alexander Dennis will supply the new double-decker buses to electric vehicle specialists Zenobē and bus operator National Express, and support the maintenance of the buses with spare parts for the next 16 years.
Paul Davies, Alexander Dennis’ President and Managing Director, said: “As the UK’s leading provider of electric buses, we are delighted to be part of this deal. This innovative model brings together Government funding and business innovation to deliver an affordable way of rolling out zero-emission bus fleets at scale.
“The country will further benefit from the choice of 130 British-built vehicles that ensure money is reinvested into the manufacturing sector and local communities, where they support skilled jobs and apprenticeships at our own facilities as well as in our extensive supply chain.”
The deal will see more than 130 buses manufactured in Britain by Alexander Dennis enter service in Coventry from early 2023, as part of the city’s successful bid to become the UK’s first all-electric bus city and replace 300 diesel vehicles by 2025.
The project will be financed with a £50m grant from the Department for Transport and through a partnership between Zenobē and National Express.
Meanwhile, Scarborough’s Plaxton site has already delivered a new fleet of modern, electric-powered double-decker buses to Transport for London to operate its new route 63 between King’s Cross and Honor Oak, which launched on Friday last week.
The new route 63 buses were manufactured by Alexander Dennis, the country’s largest bus and coach manufacturer, in Scarborough.
Sir Robert Goodwill, MP for Scarborough and Whitby, and Chair of the Bus and Coach Industry APPG, said: “I am proud that a fleet of electric buses manufactured in Scarborough is not only supporting the bus industry nationally, but helping support both London’s and the country’s sustainable recovery from the pandemic.
“The production of these buses in my constituency is testament to the fact that investment in London’s public transport directly benefits businesses and skilled green jobs across the UK.”
The new buses feature USB chargers and mobile phone holders in the seats, a skylight on the upper deck, high back seats and wood-effect flooring as ridership returns close to pre-pandemic levels.
However, Transport for London warned at the launch that it is the end of the road for new buses unless it wins long-term Government support to upgrade the network.