Electric buses heading for Reading

Reading Buses is set to receive electric buses, with £4.7m of ZEBRA funding obtained. The investment is expected to see 24 electric double-deckers running on the operator’s purple 17 and claret 21 routes.

The funding also includes help for the installation of charging infrastructure at the Reading Buses depot, providing 75% of associated costs.

The electric buses are planned to enter service in 2025 starting with purple 17, the most frequent and well-used service in Reading, running 24 hours a day. The route is already served by buses running on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). The claret 21 service also runs 24 hours a day from Reading Station to Lower Earley via Reading University.

The operator’s fleet of 66 CNG buses will continue to supplement the electric vehicles for several years, ensuring the town and surrounding area gets better air quality.

Reading Buses has been trialling different zero-emission vehicles around Reading over the past year to help with the decision on which buses they should purchase.

Orders are set to be placed by the end of April.

“We hope this will be yet another reason for people to give our services a try” – Robert Williams, Reading Buses Chief Executive Officer

Robert Williams, Reading Buses Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are delighted to have secured this funding to enhance our fleet with zero emission vehicles.

“This sizable project will result in even quieter, smoother journeys for our customers. Equally important, these electric buses will also highlight the significant environmental benefits that already exist when switching to public transport.

“We hope this will be yet another reason for people to give our services a try as well as helping to encourage a reduction in private car emissions and congestion.

“Both of these issues have such a significant impact on all the residents of the town.”

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