Oxford Bus Company (Go-Ahead group) orders 104 battery-electric buses with Wrightbus. They’ll be part of a 159-strong zero emission fleet on Oxford’s streets from late 2023. In the same region, Stagecoach has just announced a 55-units e-bus order with Alexander Dennis.

The deal is Go-Ahead’s biggest electric bus order to date, adding to the group’s 350-strong fleet of plug-in buses across Britain, and is a further step towards a goal of a zero-emission fleet nationwide by 2035.

By the way, we have been focusing on funding streams for zero emission buses in UK market on our latest Sustainable Bus Magazine, out on 31 Jan 2023. Click & read!

Oxford Bus Company orders Wrightbus electric buses

The mobilisation of these buses will see Oxford Bus Company become the second largest bus operator of zero emission buses within the Go-Ahead Group, behind Go Ahead London. Once on the road in late 2023, it will bring the total number of zero emission buses within the Go-Ahead Group to 456.

The order from Oxford Bus Company will comprise 5 single and 99 double-decker buses, to be manufactured in Northern Ireland by Wrightbus, and all vehicles will be fitted with free customer WiFi, at-seat USB chargers and audio-visual next stop announcement systems as standard.

8 of the double-decker buses will be open-topped, to support the company’s popular City Sightseeing tour route, and once all buses are in service all local bus routes wholly within the Oxford urban area will be converted to zero-emission operation.

ZEBRA fundings for zero emission buses

Go-Ahead is investing more than £30 million in the buses, alongside funding from Oxfordshire County Council and from the Department for Transport’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme. This is part of a total package of £82.5 million of funding for 159 buses for operators in Oxford, which will become one of Britain’s leading electric bus cities.

Luke Marion, Managing Director of the Oxford Bus Company, said: “This is a fantastic day for bus passengers in Oxford. We’re proud to be ordering a fleet of state-of-the-art, UK-made electric buses which will be cleaner and healthier for local residents, and offer a quieter, more comfortable ride for customers.”

Ben Werth, Chief Commercial Officer at Wrightbus, said: “We are, through this significant order, delighted to be working with Go-Ahead to further demonstrate their commitment to offering zero-emission public transport. It has been a real team effort between Wrightbus and the Oxford Bus Company to deliver this exciting project. All of the buses will be manufactured and assembled at our Ballymena factory, which means support for jobs in Northern Ireland, and wider across the UK through our domestic supply chain.”

Christian Schreyer, Group Chief Executive, The Go-Ahead Group, said: “This is a step towards our goal of a zero-emission bus fleet nationwide by 2035. It’s important to remember that decarbonising vehicles is only part of the challenge – we also need to encourage more people out of their cars and onto public transport. It’s great to see Oxford taking progressive measures to prioritise buses over private cars.”

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