A fleet of five electric buses are now in operation from West Ham bus garage in east London, thanks to a new electric vehicle charging solution provided by UK Power Networks Services.
The power infrastructure business, which includes electric vehicle consultancy, design, installation and maintenance solutions worked with bus operator, Stagecoach, to install power distribution and 80kW charge points that will power a new fleet of fully electric zero emission buses. The buses will serve route 323 from Canning Town to Mile End.
UK Power Networks Services’ solution will charge the electric buses overnight and will continually monitor the amount of power available at the garage. This night time charging approach will reduce costs for the bus garage, as it will be able to draw its maximum power requirement between 11pm and 6am when local electricity demand is low and electricity prices are cheaper.
The electric buses will operate within one of 12 Low Emission Bus Zones, introduced by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, in 2018 to tackle air pollution hotspots in the city and represent a further expansion of what is one of Europe’s largest electric bus fleets.
Having even more electric buses in operation will further contribute to improved air quality in the area, particularly as the route serves a number of large local schools including Bow School and St Paul’s Way Trust School.
This is the latest installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure by UK Power Networks Services. The company has been supporting a number of industries, including public transport, aviation, rail and logistics operators, to meet their carbon net zero targets by 2050.
Philip Heathcote, head of markets at UK Power Networks Services, said, “This project is another signal of the capital’s intent for all buses to be zero-emission by 2037. We are delighted to play a key role in ensuring electric buses can take to the road and provide the area with a clean and sustainable mode of public transport.”
Paul Lynch, regional director for Stagecoach London said, “We’re very proud of our strong track record of delivering sustainable public transport. Over the past decade, we’ve invested more than £1billion in 7,000 new greener vehicles across the country – more than any other operator in the UK – and this latest investment in London will help to ensure that we are continuing to lead the way in delivering cleaner air.”
This is a trial of just 5 electric powered buses operating from a large bus garage. While battery powered buses might seem a good idea, when they all return for the night, can they all be collected to a charging point, as this presents a significant infrastructure and operational problem? How many buses operate from the West Ham garage?