NatEx has stopped buying diesel buses
Operator aims for first electric coaches to be in service next year
National Express Group has outlined its vision to become the UK’s most sustainable bus and coach company.
The Group has announced it will not buy another diesel bus for its UK operations. It aims to transition to zero emission coaches, with a target for its first electric coaches to be in service next year. This is all part of the operator’ ambition for its UK bus and coach fleets to be fully zero-emission from 2030 and 2035 respectively. Environmental targets are planned to make up 25% of its senior executive Long Term Incentive Plans.
This new vision follows our sustained investment in Euro VI vehicles, way ahead of Clean Air Zone and Ultra Low Emission Zone requirements. National Express Group has also been one of the first transport companies to adopt the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s methodology for setting its carbon reduction targets.
National Express Group believes the recent government announcement of a £5 billion bus fund, the pro-public transport policies of the Mayor of the West Midlands and the ambitious vision set out in the draft Birmingham Transport Plan all show there is a desire for leadership and change.
National Express Group will shortly launch a procurement competition to choose the manufacturers and partners to help achieve these ambitions. This year, the operator is to place a major order for electric buses to add to its first zero emission vehicles which will shortly enter service in the West Midlands. It is to hold an in-service trial of an electric coach on its Stansted Airport service, in addition to selecting partners to develop a zero-emission vehicle suitable for all long distance coach routes.
Dean Finch, National Express Group Chief Executive, said: “Bus and coach travel is already one of the greenest ways to get around, with each bus removing up to 75 cars from the road. National Express has already invested in clean buses and coaches and kept fares low to support a shift from private cars to mass transit. Working through our West Midlands Bus Alliance we have achieved the fastest passenger growth of any major city-region in the country, demonstrating its success.
“However, we understand the imperative to go much further, so we are today setting out an ambition to be the first zero emission transport group in the UK. Our decision to never again buy a diesel bus in the UK coupled with our support in leading the zero-emission transition in coach will place our UK operations at the forefront of efforts to tackle climate change and poor air quality. We simply believe this is the right thing to do for our customers, the communities we serve and our stakeholders.”
The announcement follows figures showing a £250m revenue increase.