A green power upgrade by UK Power Networks has enabled the electrification of up to 150 buses at Abellio London’s Twickenham bus depot.
UK Power Networks has installed new underground cables and equipment at a local substation though its Green Recovery programme to fully convert the depot to electric buses in future, cutting carbon emissions and improving air quality.
The first 30 new electric double-decker buses are now operating from the depot on route 111 between Heathrow Central and Kingston’s Cromwell Road bus station.
The electricity distributor is also delivering £66m investment across 85 ‘shovel ready’ sites, to fast track low carbon energy projects that will help achieve the government’s Ten Point Plan towards net zero by 2050, with Twickenham among the sites to benefit. It has installed 2.5km of new underground cable and upgraded the local substation through an investment of approximately £1.8m to deliver 3.86MVA of additional power capacity. The equipment will connect 30 charge points that will charge buses overnight.
Adam Lakey, leading the Green Recovery projects for UK Power Networks, says, “This investment in essential new power infrastructure will enable Twickenham bus depot’s entire bus fleet to go completely electric in the years ahead, improving air quality and reducing carbon emissions.
“We worked with local communities, government and Ofgem to identify projects where investment in electricity infrastructure could kickstart a green recovery, promote economic recovery and make tangible progress to connect more electric vehicles.”
The project supports the transition to net zero carbon emissions and London Mayor, Sadiq Khan’s plans for the capital’s entire bus fleet to be fully electric by 2034.
Jon Eardley, Managing Director, Abellio London Bus, says, “This project will give us the capacity to fully convert our buses at Twickenham to electric, cleaning the air and helping to deliver the mayor’s zero emission ambition.
“We’re delighted to work with UK Power Networks to accelerate these plans through their Green Recovery fund. Here at Abellio London, we are committed to ambitious and sustained investment in green infrastructure and a zero emission fleet. We see this as essential for attracting more people onto public transport, which in turn, promotes other forms of active travel.”
The new electroliner buses, built by Wrightbus, have high back seats, better information screens inside and out, and roof lights on the top deck.