Electric buses to launch on commercial route in Glasgow

The two electric buses are being fully funded as part of the SP Energy Networks' £20m Green Economy Fund.

Electric buses are being launched in Glasgow on a commercial route for the first time since the 1960s, transport company First Glasgow has announced.

The two electric buses are being fully funded as part of the SP Energy Networks’ £20m Green Economy Fund, which supports Glasgow’s bid to become the UK’s first net-zero emissions city by 2030.

First Glasgow said the city has now come back to fully electric transport on a commercial route for the first time since electric trolley buses were decommissioned by the Glasgow Corporation in May 1967.

The new vehicles, unveiled on Friday, will be operating on the M3 route, which connects communities in Milton and Springburn with Stobhill Hospital and the city centre.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP said: “It is a real pleasure to see First launch their fully electric buses in Glasgow, following funding from SP Energy Networks.

“Scotland was one of the first countries to acknowledge that we are facing a global climate emergency and we have legislated for the most ambitious carbon reduction target of any country in the world.

“A key part of our plans is encouraging greater use of public transport as well as phasing out petrol and diesel vehicles.

“It’s so great to see First and SP Energy Networks playing their part in helping us to achieve our goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2045.”

The new M3 electric buses, built by Alexander Dennis in Falkirk, have the latest mirrorless smartvision technology, which removes the need for wing mirrors, helps reduce blind spots for drivers and even helps to reduce the effects of bad weather on their vision via the “state-of-the-art” CCTV system.

The new vehicles, which go into service this month, will also have USB charging points, on-board audio-visual next stop announcements and free Wi-Fi.

Andrew Jarvis, managing director for First Glasgow, said: “We are delighted to launch the city’s first conversion of a commercial bus service to fully electric operation.

“The whole team at First Glasgow are thrilled to be teamed up with SP Energy Networks in order to bring these state-of-the-art zero-emission vehicles to the people of Glasgow and the M3 route.”

He added: “Every customer journey on the route will save around 2kg of CO2 compared with driving on your own in an average car, making bus the best choice in reducing the impact on the planet.

“As a business, one of our main goals is to make buses part of the solution when it comes to improving air quality in the city. We’ve already invested £31m in the last two years.

“By working with Glasgow City Council and Transport Scotland, we plan to make great strides forward in doing our bit to improve the city’s air quality and making Glasgow a cleaner and greener place to live and work.”

As part of the SP Energy Networks’ funding deal, First Glasgow will also introduce 22 electric vehicle charging points in its Glasgow Caledonia Depot, which will ultimately allow it to introduce more electric buses into the city’s transport network in the future.

Frank Mitchell, chief executive at SP Energy Networks, said: “We are very proud to be supporting this historic moment for Glasgow by fully funding the infrastructure and vehicles for its first completely electric bus route since the 1960s.”

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