Electric buses have entered National Express’ West Midlands fleet in a step towards its goal of a zero emissions fleet by 2030.
National Express has announced it is electrifying 29 of its buses, with the vehicles to be charged using renewable energy.
The buses are being provided by Alexander Dennis Limited and BYD, a Chinese battery manufacturer.
Its Yardley Wood garage in Birmingham has been retrofitted with plug chargers to enable the charging, with a Zenobe Energy battery storage system also installed. The first 19 buses have already entered service, with a further ten buses to be introduced in Coventry in the autumn.
Zenobe announced an end-to-end EV solution for bus fleets in May 2019, providing charging infrastructure and stationary battery storage. Since then, it has partnered with bus operator Abellio, which operates buses for Transport for London, to launch electric buses in south London.
National Express' electrification has been supported by a £3 million grant from the Office for Low Emissions Vehicles, with the bus company targeting a zero emissions fleet by 2030.
The buses are BYD ADL Enviro400EV double deckers, measuring 10.9 meters. They offer the 65 passengers they can carry USB chargers, free Wi-Fi as well as extra legroom.
Tom Stables, managing director of National Express UK, said the company is "very proud to bring fully electric buses to the people of the West Midlands".
"At National Express, zero-emission is not the future – it's the here-and-now."