Stagecoach celebrates Cambridge electrics

Cambridge’s first electric buses have driven over 50,000 miles since they rolled into service 12 months ago.

The zero-emission vehicles, introduced as part of a joint initiative between Stagecoach East and the Greater Cambridge Partnership, aim to improve air quality in the city and reduce harmful carbon emissions.

And while the Covid pandemic has limited how much people have been travelling during the past year, the two fully-electric vehicles have covered the thousands of miles with zero tailpipe emissions. The buses also use state-of-the-art batteries that use regenerative braking to re-charge every time the bus slows down.

The two vehicles began service on the popular route 6, between the city, Girton and Oakington, on 17 February 2020 and have since operated on various routes within Cambridge. They can travel 160 miles between a full charge, which takes approximately 8 hours overnight – and use approximately 2kWhr of electricity per mile, which is the same amount of electricity as running a conventional oven for an hour.

The fully-electric buses not only provide a more environmentally-friendly mode of transport through their ultra-low emission technology, but they also enhance the passenger experience by enabling a quieter and smoother journey than fuel engines.

Darren Roe, the newly appointed Managing Director for Stagecoach East, said: “We are delighted to be celebrating the one year anniversary of our electric buses in Cambridge. The introduction of our zero-emission vehicles demonstrate our commitment as a regional bus operator to improving local air quality and reducing carbon emissions, which greatly contribute to global warming and rising sea levels.

“Over the years, we have worked hard to reduce the environmental impact of our buses and now over a third of our fleet now use greener engines. We are committed to buying only ULEB (Ultra low emission buses) which have 30% less wheel-to-wheel CO2 than the standard Euro 6 bus.

“This one year anniversary marks an important milestone in our vision to minimise our carbon footprint and lead the way to a cleaner, eco-friendly future for public transport.”

Cllr Roger Hickford, Chair of the Greater Cambridgeshire Partnership’s Executive Board, said: “These fantastic electric buses have helped people benefit from cleaner air by cutting tailpipe emissions to zero – reducing pollution on the city’s roads.

“As we recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, we will need more people using public transport. The GCP’s investment in the first electric buses to serve Cambridgeshire is a key part of our ambitions to transform public transport, cut congestion and reduce emissions.

“We are looking at ways we can build on the success of the first electric buses and bring more ultra-low and zero emission vehicles to Greater Cambridge.”

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