One year on from COP26, First Bus sees its legacy ambitions come to life
First Bus is helping UK delivery company, DPD, to carry out more green journeys in Glasgow in a milestone move which sees the transport operator’s ambitions from COP26 come to life.
At the global climate change conference last year, First Bus set out its aim offer local businesses use of the extensive electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure at its Caledonia Depot.
One year on, DPD has become the first company to officially sign up to the scheme. The agreement means that DPD drivers will now have access to the site to charge their electric vehicles whilst in Glasgow, enabling them to travel a greater distance while making deliveries – without impacting the environment.
Through this arrangement, the green potential of First Bus’s charging hub will be maximised while its own electric fleet is out in service.
Graeme Macfarlan, Commercial Director at First Bus, said: “The partnership with DPD reflects the commitment we made during COP26 to help other businesses to achieve their green ambitions. We hope that this marks the first of many valuable partnerships and demonstrates the power that comes from working together to reduce carbon emissions.
“Electrifying fleets, and having the infrastructure in place to support them, is a mammoth undertaking, and it simply isn’t feasible for each and every business to build its own charging station. Reducing carbon emissions is a priority for us – not just to meet our own targets but because we’re committed to delivering cleaner, greener journeys for Glasgow. We’re already in conversation with other businesses and look forward to announcing further partnerships in the near future.”
Located on Glasgow’s southside, First Bus’s Caledonia Depot has 160 state-of-the art, rapid-charging points, supporting the operator’s ambition to be emission-free by 2035.
First Bus has worked closely with Hitachi ZeroCarbon to provide the systems that will enable charging commercial vehicles at the site. Originally designed for the buses operating out of the Caledonia depot, it is hoped the Plug and Charge solution will benefit businesses in Glasgow by providing the availability of DC ultra-rapid charging for commercial electric vehicles.
Minister for Transport, Jenny Gilruth, said: “We all have to work together to end our contribution to climate change, and by making its charging infrastructure available to DPD, First Bus are leading the way.
“The Scottish Government provided over £5.9 million to help deliver the infrastructure at the depot, and I am delighted that it is being used to support decarbonisation of last mile delivery as well as public transport.
“Our £500k Bus Market Transition Scheme, which aims to support businesses prepare for our next round of capital funding, is currently open for applications and I hope that this announcement today by First Bus encourages others to think creatively about how Government funding can be used to maximum effect.”
DPD’s aim is to be the most sustainable parcel delivery company in the UK and the company is on track to have over 3,000 EVs on the road this year and 4,000 by 2023, when it will be delivering to 30 towns and cities, including Glasgow, using EVs only.
Initially, eight DPD EVs from the firm’s Cambuslang depot will access the Caledonia site, as part of the trial period. The expectation is that this number will increase to help support DPD’s growing EV fleet in the city, which is planned to total close to 200 electric vans by the end of next year.
Olly Craughan, Head of Sustainability, DPD said: “The Caledonia depot is a fantastic facility and this is a really smart initiative between two brands that are investing in a greener future for Scotland. The partnership will be hugely beneficial as it will enable our drivers to access fast, reliable and secure charging stations in Glasgow during the day. Our plan is to be delivering in both Glasgow and Edinburgh city centres using only electric vehicles by the end of next year, and this is another step towards making that a reality.”
First Bus is continuing to expand its zero-emission bus fleet and electric vehicle charging infrastructure in Scotland over the next 18 months with plans already in place for the electrification of its Scotstoun and Aberdeen depots.
The operator is interested in hearing from businesses who wish to benefit from this partnership opportunity which, if successful, could be rolled out to other sites in future.