It is anticipated taking 1,500 diesel buses off the road will save 84,675 tCO2e per year – 677,400 tCO2e over the eight year period…

Image credit: Hitachi

Hitachi ZeroCarbon Ltd. has partnered with FirstGroup plc to lead the UK’s shift to electric buses. The collaboration, which is part of FirstGroup’s bus fleet and infrastructure decarbonisation programme, will provide batteries for First Bus’s expanding electric bus fleet, helping in making a positive impact on air quality, tackle congestion and improve customer experience.

The partnership will see up to £10m cash investment each from Hitachi and FirstGroup, supporting the acquisition of 1,000 batteries. In addition, under the agreement, Hitachi ZeroCarbon will provide its world-leading Battery Charging and Management Services (BCMS) for 1,000 buses powered by the new batteries as well as a further commitment of 500 vehicles beyond FY 2026.

This will allow FirstGroup to optimise bus battery efficiency and cost, likely resulting in materially lower future capital deployment by extending the batteries’ useful bus life beyond their initial eight-year OEM warranty periods, at zero lease cost. Through smart charging, effective battery management and dynamic energy management, First Bus, one of the UK’s largest bus operators, is also likely to see improved energy utilisation.

The partnership further cements both parties’ commitment to reducing emissions. FirstGroup’s ambition is to be the partner of choice for innovative and sustainable transport, accelerating the transition to a zero-carbon world, and has pledged to operate a zeroemission First Bus fleet by 2035. Hitachi is a climate change innovator, using technology to help governments, businesses and cities cut carbon around the world.

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