Bus manufacturer Wrightbus has launched a business that can replace older diesel engines in buses with new zero-emission electric powertrains.

NewPower, which has moved into a factory in Bicester, Oxfordshire, aims to accelerate the decarbonisation process by swapping powertrains in older fleets at a substantially lower price than buying a new bus.

Wrightbus will utilise the skills of its 1,800-strong workforce, including master technicians, to carry out the work.

Hailed as affordable decarbonisation, it is hoped that operators with mid-life bus fleets but without the funding for new zero-emission buses can take advantage of the instant sustainability switch.

Engineers say the conversion can take three weeks and have space for teams to work on six buses at any one time, offering the potential to decarbonise 500 buses a year.

Initially creating 22 jobs but with 65 staff expected on site by the end of the year, the announcement from Wrightbus follows a record-breaking start to 2024 which has seen the Northern Ireland business named as the fastest-growing large manufacturer in the UK and the fastest-growing bus-maker in Europe.

Jean-Marc Gales, Wrightbus CEO said, “While we are selling new hydrogen and battery-electric buses all over the world there is a huge market of mid-life buses which, once converted, can have an immediate impact on helping to improve air quality in towns and cities up and down the UK.

“We have long been recognised as the world-leading manufacturer of both hydrogen and battery-electric buses and now NewPower will add another string to our bow.”


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