Deputy News Editor
New electric buses are to be launched in Glasgow to reduce the city’s carbon emissions.
Glasgow will be launching two of these buses as a “statement of intent” to make the city a “net zero” city. These environmentally friendly buses will be running from Milton and Springburn to Stobhill Hospital and the city centre.
This is the first time since the 1960s that electric buses have been used commercially in Glasgow.
The vehicles were built by Alexander Dennis in Falkirk and bought by the bus company First Glasgow. This project is financed by £20m Green Economy Fund from SP Energy Network. The company is also supporting the installation of 22 electric vehicle charging points in First Glasgow’s Caledonia depot.
SP Energy Network chief executive, Frank Mitchell, said that making Glasgow the first net zero carbon city by 2030 would be a challenge but this initiative was a step in the right direction.
Mitchell said: "The introduction of the low emission zone was the city's first big test and sets out a marker for its ambitions.
"The introduction of this new electric bus technology which will ultimately improve air quality and noise pollution in the city centre and other communities.”
This project has been introduced as part of Glasgow’s campaign to create a “low emission zone” meaning that 20% of buses running through the city centre must meet emission standards. First Bus said that it was already 40% compliant with these regulations and promises to take this initiative further.
Andrew Jarvis, the managing director at First Bus said that these buses will not only improve public transport, but will be part of the solution to improve air quality.
Jarvis said: "Every customer journey on the route will save around two kilos of CO2 compared with driving on your own in an average car, making bus the best choice in reducing the impact on the planet."
Glasgow had developed a network of electric trolleybuses in 1949 and all buses in the city were electric until 1967 when these buses were decommissioned. One of these vintage buses is on display in an exhibit at the Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft in Lincolnshire.