First puts electric Wrightbuses into Solent services

First Bus South has put the first of 62 Wrightbus electric buses into service in Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport. They are the region’s first zero-emissions buses.

The £28.6m project to bring the Wrightbus electric buses to the Solent region is due to a partnership with Portsmouth City Council and Hampshire County Council which secured £12.7m from government ZEBRA funding along with a £15.9m investment from First Bus South, the operator of bus services in the Solent region.

The introduction of the new electric vehicles (EVs) will mean that when all 62 buses are in service by the summer, 42% of the total fleet operated by First Bus Solent will be electric.

The buses will operate from First Bus Solent’s Hoeford depot in Fareham, where works are taking place to support the infrastructure for charging and operation of the new electric fleet. The area where these new electric buses will be operating includes two Clean Air Zones (CAZ).

“We hope that our passengers are as pleased with them as we are” – Simon Goff, First Bus South’s Managing Director

Simon Goff, First Bus South’s Managing Director, said: “So much hard work and planning has gone into getting us to this point and I’m so excited to see the first EV buses go out onto the roads to serve customers in Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport.

“These vehicles offer significant environmental benefits as they emit zero tailpipe emissions, which means better air quality for local people. What’s fantastic is that they’ll also improve the journey experience for our customers, providing a smoother, more comfortable ride. We hope that our passengers are as pleased with them as we are.”

“First Bus South, like us, is at the forefront of new and exciting technology” – Jean-Marc Gales, CEO at Wrightbus

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO at Wrightbus, added: “We are delighted to be supporting First Bus South in the drive to transform transport in the region and help build a more sustainable future. First Bus South, like us, is at the forefront of new and exciting technology, and our partnership enhances the reputation we have forged in playing an important part in the UK’s ambitions for decarbonisation.

“We have great ambitions both in the UK and across Europe to have many more of our buses on the roads in the future.

“All of our buses have been built in Ballymena in Northern Ireland, lending further support to the wider regional economy and allowing us to create green jobs as we continue in our growth.”

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