Birmingham Airport will be replacing its diesel bus fleet with fully electric buses featuring integrated technology. The upgraded bus fleet is part of the airport’s aim to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2033.
The airport’s landside bus service will be 100% electric, consisting of six single deck buses. They will collectively consume 80% less energy than a diesel bus fleet of the same size. The new electric buses have been supplied by Volvo Bus UK.
New Airport Charge Points to Service Electric Bus Fleet
The new bus fleet will be powered by two charging points which have been installed outside the terminal. Each bus takes only six minutes to be fully charged, making the charging turnaround issue a non-factor. There are also plans to let them be used by other public electric buses and even long distance coach operators.
The new fleet cost a total of £3.2 million, with £1.8 million of that total invested directly by the airport. The other £1.4 million was provided by a grant from the Department for Transport’s Ultra Low Emission Bus Scheme.
Electric Buses with Integrated Technology
The CEO of Birmingham Airport, Nick Barton, said: “I am extremely proud to say we are the first UK airport to implement a fully electric landside bus service. The buses are not only a big win for us in terms of the reduction in emissions but they will also contribute to providing an improved passenger experience.
“The 7900e Volvo UK buses are considerably quieter than the buses we had in use previously and are equipped with location-based passenger updates as well as USB charging built into every seat. This is a really exciting time for Birmingham Airport.
“Over the next 15 years, we are investing significantly to improve our facilities and service for customers, whilst reducing our carbon footprint to reach an ambitious target of net zero carbon by 2033.”
Government Funding for Low Emission Buses
Government funding to the tune of £40 million for low emission buses was approved in early 2018. The funding boost was provided to the bus industry to help improve air quality.
During the Bus Summit, the Transport Minister Nusrat Ghani said: “Buses and coaches are hugely important to those who rely on them and to the communities in which these people live and work. Road transport is going to change dramatically over the next couple of decades. We have to make sure that the bus industry is ready to benefit from those changes.
“We have to move away from nose-to-tail car traffic at peak times, endless engine idling, stop-start travel and rising pollution and carbon emissions. Rather than contributing to the problem – buses and coaches very much form part of the solution.”
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