Coventry gets go-ahead for all-electric buses

Coventry is set to become the UK’s first All Electric Bus City after the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) backed the project.

The Department for Transport (DfT) will now give the combined authority £50m to deliver the scheme, under which every bus in Coventry will be electric powered by 2025.

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Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which is part of the WMCA, will lead the project in partnership with Coventry City Council, Warwickshire County Council and local bus operators.

TfWM said it will work with bus operators to replace buses and install charging infrastructure on the streets of Coventry. This includes pantograph, or overhead, charging points which will be available to all bus operators.

The local authorities and bus operators will pay 25% of the cost of charging infrastructure and of the added cost of purchasing electric vehicles. However, the new buses are expected to have lower running costs.

West Midlands mayor Andy Street said: ‘This is a great time for bus users in Coventry, with our newly refurbished Pool Meadow bus station, the trial of West Midlands On Demand buses serving the University of Warwick campus, as well our wider investment in fare-capping and better value fares, bus priority measures, real-time travel information and on board facilities like wi-fi and USB charging.

‘It is a bus revolution here in the West Midlands, and Coventry is right at the heart of it.’

Transport minister Baroness Vere said the replacement of Coventry’s entire fleet of buses with new, all-electric vehicles would ‘have a profoundly positive effect on air quality and emissions in the area and reduce noise pollution’.

Baroness Vere said the Government is committed to decarbonising the transport network across the UK; however, publication of its Transport Decarbonisation Plan remains delayed.

TfWM said it is already on target to for existing diesel buses to be Euro-VI compliant low emission vehicles.

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