December 16 2021
In this week’s blog post our Policy Manager Rebecca Kite recaps the decarbonising coach event that took place on 1 December, and what is next for CPT’s work on decarbonising coaches.
Coach operators face different barriers to bus operators when it comes to decarbonising their fleets. This is why a couple of weeks ago CPT hosted the first event dedicated to looking at how we can tackle these and help the coach industry play its full role in the journey to net zero.
The online event, ‘Zero Emission Coaches: Turning Theory into Reality’ focused on three key areas that are the most challenging for coach operators; vehicles, finance, and infrastructure. Each session was made up of a varied mix of speakers including operators, manufacturers, Zemo Partnership, and Green Finance Institute. We were also joined by Andrew Westcott from UK taxi company Addison Lee, who spoke about their pledge to use only electric vehicles from 2023 and how they have overcome challenges. This was an opportunity to see if lessons learnt could be applied to the coach industry.
The sessions were interactive and enabled delegates to get involved in the discussions. Delegates were able to ask the speakers direct questions and provide insights into each of the key challenges identified in order to help determine ways they could be overcome. The key issues discussed included operators’ concerns around the range of batteries on electric vehicles and lack of on route charging infrastructure. Coaches tend to travel farther distances than bus services and coach operators need to be confident that there is sufficient charging or refuelling infrastructure in place to enable their zero emission vehicles to deliver passengers to their end destination. This discussion was all incredibly useful and will help to inform CPT’s own discussions with Government on how the industry can transition to zero emission alternatives.
The event may have concluded, but our work is just beginning. The newly launched coach decarbonisation taskforce will start their work in the new year to identify the challenges to transitioning to a zero emission fleet and create an evidence base that will help CPT in their discussions with Government and other key stakeholders. The journey to net zero is one of the most pressing issues for the coach sector and the work of the taskforce is vital in ensuring the journey is as smooth as possible and that any milestones proposed by Government are workable, achievable and do not penalise an already sustainable mode of transport.