Festival-goers leaving Bristol for Glastonbury this weekend have a chance to use the event’s first sustainable shuttle bus service, care of National Express and Zenobē, the EV fleet and battery storage specialists.
The companies’ partnership sets the wheels in motion for a trial towards decarbonising mass passenger transport to large-scale events.
Zenobē will provide public transport operator National Express, the UK’s leading transport operator, with eight electric double-deckers on the Bristol-Glastonbury route, transporting music-lovers to the festivals gates in Somerset
As well as zero-emission buses, Zenobē will set up a pop-up charging station enabling National Express to charge the vehicles close to where they are needed instead of travelling to a central bus depot.
For the temporary hub, Zenobē will provide four fast DC chargers and a Powerskid made from second-life batteries. The facilities are needed to help every National Express electric bus to travel up to 173 miles over the festival weekend, making three trips a day, and saving 348kg of carbon emissions compared with diesel alternatives.
Hailing an industry first, Zenobē and National Express assert that, in contrast to petrol or diesel vehicles, electric buses do not produce carbon dioxide at the tailpipe or release harmful emissions,
Backing up the partners’ green proposition is Zenobē’s Powerskid device, made from second-life batteries. Previously powering EVs, the refurbished batteries will provide clean and portable power to charge the buses up, replacing a diesel generator, at the same time demonstrating the value of a circular economy based on re-use of materials.
Zenobē says Powerskid directly addresses one of the biggest barriers to the electrification of festival transport, often to venues in remote locations. Enabling temporary charging means that electrified transport is no longer constrained by existing fixed charging infrastructure. The firm takes pride in creating a prototype for other festivals and large-scale events.
The partnership builds on a pre-existing relationship. In February last year, Zenobē agreed to provide 130 electric buses for National Express to operate in Coventry.
Zenobē supports the transport concern’s aim to operate a completely zero-emission bus fleet by 2030 and a clean coach fleet by 2035.
Zenobē co-founder Steven Meersman said: “This summer we’re providing the first sustainable bus route to what is arguably the world’s most iconic music festival, and we’re pleased to be partnering with National Express to reach another milestone together.
“We’ve paired two of Zenobē’s unique offers: second-life EV batteries and our Electric Transport as-a-Service platform, to enable National Express to easily and affordably access an electric bus fleet and conveniently charge it near to the festival site”.