18th Apr, 2019

Electric buses to be introduced in Coventry to combat air pollution

TEN fully electric buses – with no engine noise – will be introduced to Coventry’s fleet.

National Express and Coventry City Council won £2.2million of government funding to invest in greener, cleaner buses for the city.

The brand new ultra-low emission buses will operate on major arterial routes through the city which experience high levels of congestion and have been identified as pollution hotspots.

The new electric buses will complement other measures being delivered to tackle congestion and poor air quality in the city.

These include junction improvements and upgrades to traffic control systems.

Coventry City Council cabinet member for jobs and regeneration Councillor Jim O’Boyle said: “In Coventry we are developing a local air quality plan that will embrace new technologies and identify improvements to air quality that will have a lasting impact on the city.

“A key part of this plan is to reduce vehicle emissions, and that’s why it’s such good news that we have secured this funding to help improve our bus fleet emission standards.”

Operations manager Matt King said: “As part of our Bus Alliance with Transport for West Midlands and Coventry City Council, we work very closely together on our commitment to improve air quality and reduce harmful emissions in the communities we serve.

“Customers will notice a smoother drive, as well as no engine noise.

“And of course they can ride easy knowing they are making no emissions at all.”

Ahead of Coventry’s year as the UK City of Culture in 2021, the council will deploy the buses along with 10 rapid chargers at the bus operator’s depot on Ford Street.

The rapid chargers will include solar panels to harvest renewable energy during the day and recharge the electric buses overnight, supporting further emissions savings for the bus fleet and the city.

National Express kicked off this year with £5million worth of brand new buses for the city with some of the cleanest engines on the market, company chiefs say.

Seventeen top-spec double deckers are being rolled out in Coventry, featuring extra leg room, free wi-fi and USB chargers.

Company chiefs say they will be running on the university routes – the 11, 11U and 12X, which also go to the station and Earlsdon.

The new buses are better for the environment as the smart hybrid engines emit extremely low levels of the pollutant nitrogen oxide, so they are better for people’s lungs, chiefs claim.

By 2020, the company hopes at least seven per cent of its bus fleet will be zero emission.

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