Kleanbus, the expert bus repower company, has announced a milestone pilot project with major bus operator Lothian to repower and upcycle 18 of its existing open-top mid-life diesel vehicles to electric. Lothian Buses is the largest municipal bus company in the UK and the partnership with Kleanbus marks a major step forward in the operator’s commitment to sustainability. The company recently published its Driving towards Net Zero environmental strategy, which outlined its objective of a fully zero-emission bus fleet by 2035, with repowering playing a key role.
Based in Edinburgh, Scotland, Lothian Buses’ existing fleet replacement programme has seen the removal of around 12,000 tonnes of CO2 from its carbon footprint in a ten-year period and the first phase of the new strategy, from now until end of 2025, is dedicated to fleet investment and infrastructure.
The decision to repower, as well as replace, is a viable option, enabling operators to upcycle their existing fleets, negating the purchase of new, highly expensive electric buses, while also avoiding needless scrappage. Repowering also extends the life of the buses, which can be in operation for many years to come, further repaying their embodied carbon.
“The need for zero-emission buses from operators is reaching critical levels.,” said Joe Tighe, Co-founder, and CEO of Kleanbus. “In identifying the huge potential of repowering its existing buses with our state-of-the-art electric powertrain, Lothian is setting a leading example with this groundbreaking initiative. Our technology is an ideal solution for quick, cost-effective, and optimum use of resources. Upcycling is the most environmentally friendly solution to transform a current diesel fleet as it avoids unnecessary scrappage. We are delighted to be supporting Lothian Buses’ work on converting the first bus to aid its industry-leading net zero strategy.”
“We’re thrilled to collaborate with Kleanbus on this initiative, marking an exciting next chapter in Lothian’s journey to reduce emissions and achieve our net zero goals,” said Colin Barnes, Engineering Director, Lothian. “Repowering has a vital role to play in our Driving towards Net Zero strategy as we transition to an all-zero emission fleet. Lothian is committed to bolstering the efforts of the Scottish Government and City of Edinburgh Council to enhance local air quality. Working with Kleanbus to upcycle current diesel buses to electric helps us to accelerate our transition to a more environmentally friendly transportation network at pace and accelerate our net zero plan.”
The Volvo B5TL buses that have been identified for the pilot will be repowered using Kleanbus’ advanced modular electric platform featuring an optimised battery size to perfectly suit its duty cycle without overburdening the vehicle with unnecessary weight, which would otherwise waste energy.