Oxford goes electric

What will be one of the biggest UK fleets of electric buses were officially launched last night in Oxford. B&CB’s Features Writer, David Cole, was there.

The £82.5m project will deliver 159 new battery buses onto the streets of the university city, the first of which have already gone into service. It has also funded two associated electric charging hubs at the city’s bus depots.

It has been funded via a collaboration between Oxfordshire County Council and bus operators Go-Ahead-owned Oxford Bus Company and Stagecoach. The Council was awarded £32.8m from the government’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme and contributed £6m directly, while bus operators invested £43.7m.

Posed in front of Radcliffe Camera in Oxford is the Oxford Bus Company Wrightbus Electroliner with the new front design and Best Impressions livery while the Stagecoach bus is the Enviro400EV demonstrator that was unveiled at Farnborough (the first production example was unfortunately not ready in time for the launch)

Oxford Bus Company will deliver 104 electric buses into service and Stagecoach 55. Working with fleet electrification specialist Zenobē, Oxford Bus Company has installed 104 charging points at its Cowley House depot, with Stagecoach also installing 55 chargers at the Network Oxford site. The charging hubs are powered by EDF Energy’s Oxford Superhub network, providing enough electricity to charge all 159 buses, enough for each bus to drive up to 200 miles per day.

To celebrate the historic development key stakeholders gathered for a launch event at Divinity School in Oxford city centre last night (15 January 2024) where some of the new electric buses were showcased and key representatives delivered speeches.

The event follows November’s launch of 21 low-height Wrightbus StreetDeck Electroliners onto Go-Ahead-owned Oxford Bus Company’s BROOKESbus network (see issue 1666, 1 December 2023).

  • Read B&CB’s full report on this launch in our next issue (1669, 26 January 2024).

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