The first new electric buses from First Bus South, operator of First Bus Solent, have entered service in Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport.

They are the first of 62 buses which will be rolled over the coming weeks for passengers on a series of routes. Funding was secured by the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Zero Emission Bus Regional Area (ZEBRA) government funding. When all 62 buses are in service by the Summer, nearly half of the total fleet (42%) operated by First Bus Solent will be electric.  

Buses will be charged from Hoeford depot in Fareham, the depot will have 66 electric charge heads in total (33 base units with a 2 charge points on each).

Wrightbus electric buses for First Bus South

Each single decker bus Wrightbus GB Kite Electroliner BEV costs £350,000, First Bus shared in its press note. And adds: “They contain 98% UK/EU sourced components and suppliers in 47 counties are involved”.

The £28.6m project to bring electric buses to the Solent region is due to a partnership with Portsmouth City Council and Hampshire County Council which secured £12.7m from government ZEBRA funding along with a £15.9m investment from First Bus South, the operator of bus services in the Solent region. 

The first electric buses for Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport

Simon Goff, First Bus South’s Managing Director, said: “So much hard work and planning has gone into getting us to this point and I’m so excited to see the first EV buses go out onto the roads to serve customers in Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport. These vehicles offer significant environmental benefits as they emit zero tailpipe emissions, which means better air quality for local people. What’s fantastic is that they’ll also improve the journey experience for our customers, providing a smoother, more comfortable ride. We hope that our passengers are as pleased with them as we are.”

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO at Wrightbus, added: “We are delighted to be supporting First Bus South in the drive to transform transport in the region and help build a more sustainable future.First Bus South, like us, is at the forefront of new and exciting technology, and our partnership enhances the reputation we have forged in playing an important part in the UK’s ambitions for decarbonisation. We have great ambitions both in the UK and across Europe to have many more of our buses on the roads in the future. All of our buses have been built in Ballymena in Northern Ireland, lending further support to the wider regional economy and allowing us to create green jobs as we continue in our growth.”

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