FirstGroup accelerates electric bus investment

Aberdeen-headquartered transport giant FirstGroup plc announced that it has committed an additional investment of £35 million to the electrification of its bus fleet and infrastructure.

“As a result, the group now anticipates total bus capital expenditure of £120-125m in FY 2024,” said FirstGroup.

“This follows successful applications made in partnership with four local authorities where First Bus operates, to secure £25m of Government co-funding to accelerate investment in new electric buses and related infrastructure through the Zero Emission Bus Regional Area (ZEBRA) funding scheme.

“This funding is in addition to that already awarded under the first ZEBRA scheme in March 2022 and will allow First Bus to order an additional 117 electric buses, taking the total number of electric buses in its fleet to more than 600 by March 2024.

“This is a significant milestone for First Bus, with its York and Norwich depots set to become the UK’s first bus depots outside of London to run fully electric fleets.

“Another two depots, Bramley in West Yorkshire and Hoeford in Hampshire, will also see the introduction of electric bus fleets and infrastructure as a result of this funding.”

FirstGroup CEO Graham Sutherland said: “As a leading regional bus operator, we have a key role to play in the decarbonisation of public transport in the UK.

“The acceleration of our investment in the electrification of our bus fleet and infrastructure, supported by co-funding from Government, is another important step for FirstGroup as we deliver on our commitment to decarbonise our fleet and deliver benefits for all of our stakeholders.”