First Bus makes record order for Yutong

First Bus has placed the single largest order for Yutong electric (EV) buses with the marque’s UK importer, Pelican Bus and Coach.

The order of 169 electric buses will be delivered to four depots within the next 16 months and represents the next step of the company’s march toward their 2035 goal of a fully Zero Emission bus fleet.

This latest investment will be delivered to the depots in Taunton, Weston-super-Mare, Basildon and Hengrove in Bristol, introducing electric buses for the first time at those sites [see breakdown table below]. Upon completion of all these projects, First Bus will operate more than 800 zero-emission vehicles and boast EV charging infrastructure at 16 depot sites across their UK operation.

The order is a mix of single- and double-deck buses from Yutong in their E10, E12 and U11DD models. First Bus already operates Yutong EVs in its Aberdeen, Leeds and Cymru operations.

The order is part of an £89m investment from First Bus in a further 178 zero-emission buses and infrastructure across four of its regions. In partnership with local authorities, additional funding of £16m has been secured through the latest round of the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Zero Emission Bus Regional Area (ZEBRA) scheme.

This latest round of funding, underpinned by investment from First Bus, part of FirstGroup, allows some of the bus operator’s most rural communities, alongside inter-urban routes, to benefit from state-of-the-art electric buses, improving local air quality and significantly reducing carbon emissions.

At least 18% of First Bus’s overall UK bus fleet will be zero-emission at the completion of these projects – a step in the company’s pledge to operate a fully zero-emission bus fleet by 2035.

Andrew Jarvis, Chief Operating Officer for First Bus, said: “We are delighted to place this order with the team at Pelican. This order marks another significant milestone as we invest further in our journey towards a zero-emission bus fleet across our UK operations.

“We are excited to be able to bring new state-of-the-art vehicles to our customers, who will see the immediate benefit of these transformative projects. We’ve worked tirelessly alongside our local authority partners to get to this point with the projects and look forward to getting these vehicles out in service for customers in the months to come.

“It is an exciting time for our colleagues at all four of these sites as we start to transform and futureproof our depots. This is also great news for our customers, who will see the benefits of these state-of-the-art vehicles – including improved local air quality and the enhanced customer experience that EV’s bring.

“As leaders in sustainable mobility, we’ll continue to work closely with central and local Government across the UK to support the delivery of our national decarbonisation commitments as we look to encourage more people than ever to choose the bus.”

Ian Downie

Ian Downie, Head of Yutong UK, Pelican said: “We are so proud to work in partnership with First Bus. Our single decks are already in operation with them in Wales as well as in Leeds and Aberdeen, and after trialling our double deck in Sheffield, we are delighted to receive this landmark order. The double deck was found to be as reliable and economical as our market leading single decks.

“First Bus will receive these state of the art vehicles which are packed with customer centric benefits, such as full electric air conditioning, USB charge points, enhanced passengers information systems and induction hearing loops.

“As a UK, family-owned business, our highly skilled workforce will complete the vehicles in Yorkshire. This order is the largest single order we have received to date, and the largest single order for our double deck products. All the vehicles will be delivered within 16 months, so will quickly begin to deliver these transformative projects.”

First Bus order breakdown by depot

 Depot Total Bus Of which single-deck of which double-deck
Taunton 16 4 12
Basildon 55 31 24
Hengrove 74 7 67
Weston-super-Mare 24 0 24
Totals   169   51   127  

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