October 28 2021

In the latest Countdown to COP26 blog post Scott Pearson, Managing Director at Newport Transport, writes about Newport Transport’s electric journey and their zero emission vision.

Our electric journey began in 2019, purchasing an ex-demonstrator Yutong E12 from Pelican. It was a landmark vehicle not just as the first electric vehicle in Newport Transport’s livery, but the first electric bus in the UK to be delivered as part of a partnership with Pelican and Zenobe. This partnership has delivered a further 15 Yutong fully electric buses, with 16 more due by January 2022, however, without the financial aid of ULEB funding from DFT of £4million, none of this would be possible. 32% of the overall large bus fleet being zero emission at the tail pipe, with plans to replace the remainder of the diesel fleet by 2028. 

We believed that our customers deserved to travel on environmentally better transport, and we wanted to demonstrate that with partnership it was possible for SMEs to join the zero-emission yellow brick road. 

The maintenance savings compared to diesel is significant, the cost of power also provides substantial benefit currently. The electric buses are popular with Newport’s drivers and passengers with over 95% satisfaction levels. The carbon saving of 840tonnes of carbon per annum with 16 buses, with 32 buses that goes to 1,825tonnes, operating through four poor air quality zones in Newport. The on-bus batteries have a second life with the power providers as they are used in battery farms across the UK, a further tick in the environmental policy.

The rise of patronage recorded shows a quicker return to bus where we have electric vehicles operating. This demonstrates that our customers are making a positive choice to use environmentally better transport as they return to our industry.

The future of zero emission whether you be in the camp of electric, hydrogen or like us only looking for the most efficient mode available, deems that electric is not the panacea but it is here now and should be maximised to aid the carbon reduction we all aspire too, other modes am sure will reduce entry costs levels in the future, but we need to act now!

This is not possible unilaterally we need to have transparent partnerships across bus, power, and financial organisations, with Government funding support. The bus industry always steps up regardless of the challenge, so we seek Welsh Government to act now and help us deliver zero emissions transport for the people of Wales, WE CANNOT WAIT MUCH LONGER!