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How Are Fully Electric Buses Taking Over?

3 min

A fleet of electric buses is set to be released in Dundee today, with aims to meet net-zero targets. Quadrant Transport speaks to the Managing Director of Xplore Dundee to find out more about the exciting project.

Twelve fully electric buses are set to be deployed in Dundee as part of Xplore Dundee’s Mission Zero Project.

The fleet of ‘Electric Emeralds’ is set to arrive in the city today (9 December) and hopes to reduce emissions in Scotland’s fifth most polluted street.

Xplore Dundee Managing Director, Christine McGlasson, told Quadrant Transport: “This is a major step forward for us and for the city in terms of sustainable public transport.”

It comes as part of Xplore Dundee’s Mission Zero Project, a vision for a cleaner, greener fleet on the city’s bus network that began in 2013.

All 12 buses will run on Service 28 along Lochee Road, Dundee

In 2019, transport emissions in Dundee totalled just under 200,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Putting the low-emission electric buses on the city’s ‘emission hotspot’ was a key goal for the bus operator.

Interior of an ‘Electric Emerald’

Managing Director of Xplore Dundee, Christine McGlasson told Quadrant Transport: “Only 2% of the emissions on that street are created by bus, but we’re putting them [on Service 28] because that’s the right statement to make.

“It’s really important that this area has fewer emissions, so we will put them [on the route] to try and make that difference.”

Each bus has cost just under £500,000 to make and hope to be fully on the road by 18 December 2021.

A study found that if every person decided to take one less car journey for one day, that would significantly reduce over a billion tonnes of emissions. Christine McGlasson continued:

If every single person made one less car journey and used a public transport option instead, then that’s what we could be saving, save 2 million tonnes of CO2 a year. The Electric Emeralds are a huge step in the right direction because they’re fantastic and high-spec too.

“You hope that the sustainability and climate message is in people’s heads, and they want to make that choice because they know it’s the right thing to do.”

Infrastructure work began in November by Zenobē, to create space for six charge points in the current depot

Steven Meersman, co-founder and director of Zenobē told Quadrant Transport: “Zenobē is project managing the electric charging infrastructure implementation for Xplore Dundee and implementing an end-to-end software solution to manage both the vehicles and fleet charging, as well as the resulting power requirements.

We’re delighted to be taking forward this important project for Xplore Dundee and the wider community. The new fleet of electric buses will help to boost access to sustainable travel in Dundee and support Scotland’s drive towards net zero.

“This is a shining example of what’s possible when private organisations and government work together towards a common goal and this will lead to tangible benefits for both passengers and the environment.”

Xplore Dundee’s Mission Zero project launched in 2013 and established their belief that zero-emission buses are the solution to pollution.

Future projects of mission zero include introducing hydrogen-powered buses into Dundee. Christine McGlasson told Quadrant Transport: “Working with Dundee City Council, Scottish Government and Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc, we hope to release a number of hydrogen buses.

This would create a whole hydrogen economy in Dundee by having a hydrogen refuelling system in the old Michelin site.”

The plans for introducing hydrogen buses are hoping to take effect by 2023.