ADL is a subsidiary of leading independent global bus manufacturer NFI Group Inc. (NFI), while BYD is a global leader in batteries, energy management and electric mobility.
The selection of First Bus as official transport provider follows a tender process run by Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) on behalf of the UK and Scottish Governments.
The shuttle service will provide a fast and frequent link for all delegates attending the event between the city centre and the Blue and Green zones on the event campus based at the SSE Hydro and Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre site.
The service will be fully operated by First Glasgow’s brand new fleet of 22 fully electric BYD ADL Enviro200EV single deck buses built in Scotland by the BYD ADL partnership.
The new buses, which were part funded through Transport Scotland’s Scottish Ultra Low Emission Bus Scheme (SULEBS), can operate a range of up to 160 miles on a full charge with zero emissions and will provide delegates with a state-of-the-art fleet to take them to and from the event.
Paul Davies, ADL President & Managing Director, said: “With the appointment of First Bus to operate the official shuttle service with its new BYD ADL electric buses, delegates to COP26 will experience first hand the smooth drive and quiet running of our British-built zero emission buses.
Demonstrating First Bus’s commitment to the communities it serves, these 22 buses have been built here in Scotland at our factory in Falkirk, as will the next 126 vehicles, ensuring that the Scottish Government’s SULEBS funding is reinvested locally.”
Frank Thorpe, Managing Director, BYD UK, said: “It is an honour for BYD to be associated with such an important global event for climate change, with BYD ADL British-built electric buses in operation as the part of the COP26 delegate shuttle service being provided by First Bus.
It is especially fitting that these pure-electric buses with zero-emissions have been manufactured locally in Scotland, which means as well as contributing to protecting the planet, we are also supporting the local economy.
“BYD is committed to ongoing technical innovation in electric mobility, which is pivotal to the future of public transport in the UK. We are passionate about clean, zero-emissions solutions. Through proven BYD technology in electric battery power for vehicles, and our reputation for reliability, we are extremely proud to be recognised as the world’s leading manufacturer of electric buses.”
Duncan Cameron, Interim Managing Director, First Bus in Scotland said, “First Bus Scotland are delighted to have been chosen to operate the official COP26 shuttle service and will be working closely with SPT, Transport Scotland and the Cabinet Office to ensure a smooth and efficient service can be delivered for all delegates attending the event.
“As leaders in sustainable mobility, we are fully aligned with the Government’s ambitions for a net-zero carbon transport system, including zero-emission bus fleets. We have already committed to achieving this by 2035 and we look forward to showcasing this to delegates over the course of the event.”
SULEBS funding aims to help bus operators bridge the gap between the cost of diesel and zero emission fleets. The ambitious collaboration with Transport Scotland will not only help First Glasgow replace a further 126 of the oldest buses in its fleet with new zero emission buses; it will also help transform their Caledonia bus depot on the south side of the city centre.
Already the UK’s largest depot, the investment will see it converted into one of the UK’s largest electric fleet charging stations, with the potential for over 150 vehicles to be recharged at a time.
The Scottish Government’s Minister for Transport, Graeme Dey said: “I’m really pleased to see Transport Scotland’s SULEB scheme helping to fund this significant order of new electric buses, as part of our commitment to meeting Scotland’s world leading climate change targets and leading a green recovery from the pandemic. It’s a real success story that these buses will be manufactured by ADL in Falkirk – supporting jobs in bus manufacturing and benefiting the wider economy before they enter service for communities across Glasgow.”