An 8MW grid connection to the Cowley bus depot will be built under an agreement between EDF Renewables UK and the Oxford Bus Company to power an electric fleet of buses for Oxford.
The deal is part of the Energy Superhub Oxford urban decarbonisation project, a four-year plan that involves the installation of a hybrid battery system, the creation of an electric vehicle (EV) charging network to encourage EV uptake, and installing low carbon heating in homes.
Oxford Bus Company has ordered 104 new electric buses with funding from Go Ahead, Oxfordshire County Council and the Department for Transport’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme. The new buses will come into operation later in 2023.
Charging infrastructure for the new fleet will be powered by an EDF Renewables substation at Oxford Bus Company’s Watlington Road depot. The substation was installed in spring 2022 by EDF Renewables UK in anticipation of the agreement on the new 8MW connection.
“Go-Ahead Group and Oxford Bus Company’s ambition to transition to a zero-emission fleet has been in planning for several years already. This agreement with EDF Renewables UK takes us one step closer to having more electric buses in Oxford, and is a key milestone in our exciting electric transformation journey,” said Luke Marion, managing director of Oxford Bus Company.
Marianne Costigan, head of private wire at EDF Renewables UK, said: “Energy Superhub Oxford has given the city a breadth of opportunities to decarbonise and combat climate change, and we’ve already seen considerable success with the EV charging hub.”
Energy Superhub Oxford aims to reduce carbon emissions by 10,000 tonnes in its first year, rising to 25,000 tonnes per year by 2032.
Oxford Bus Company introduced the first electric bus in 2020 for its City Sightseeing Oxford fleet. There are now three retrofitted electric vehicles in the fleet.
As part of the Energy Superhub Oxford plan, Pivot Power opened Europe’s “most powerful” EV charging hub in Oxford in 2022, with 42 fast and ultra-rapid chargers. In November 2022, construction started on the UK’s second Energy Superhub in Coventry, also being developed by EDF Renewables UK.