Coventry and Oxford in the running to be UK’s first all-electric bus cities

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The cities of Coventry and Oxford in the UK are developing proposals to become the first parts of the nation to run all-electric bus services.

When the UK government announced in February 2020 a £5bn investment for a new golden era for buses, it launched an all-electric bus town and city competition. The government received 19 bids from across England to become the first all-electric bus town or city.

Coventry and Oxford are developing business cases in an England-wide competition to switch an entire town or city’s bus fleet to electric vehicles.

Subject to successful business cases, each area could be awarded up to £50 million to not only replace its entire fleet of buses with all-electric versions, but to also install new infrastructure, such as charging stations, and pay for electric grid updates.

The change to a cleaner and greener bus fleet will help improve air quality and reduce emissions, helping further deliver on the government’s efforts to decarbonize the transport network, as well as support local businesses and jobs in the UK developing green buses. Up to 500 buses could be replaced – saving thousands of tons of CO2 each year.

The government received 19 bids from across England to become the first all-electric bus town or city. Applicants were required to demonstrate buy-in from stakeholders in their local areas, outline existing plans to reduce greenhouse gases and improve air quality, and show how the plan would tackle an existing air quality problem.

“Coventry and Oxford could soon be at the forefront of our plans for a new era of bus services, helping us develop the green transport network of the future and support jobs right here in the UK,” said UK transport secretary, Grant Shapps.

“As we build back greener from Covid-19, we can provide people with more environmentally-friendly transport and cleaner air.”

The government will work with the two local authorities to finalize their business cases over the coming weeks.

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