Countdown to COP26: Newport Transport’s Zero Emission Vision

2 months ago Thu 28th Oct 2021

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

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 is zero-emission at the tailpipe, with plans to replace the remainder of the diesel fleet by 2028. 

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 840 tonnes of carbon per annum with 16 buses, with 32 buses that goes to 1,825 tonnes, 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 transport 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 are in the camp of electric, hydrogen or like us only looking for the most efficient modes available, deems that electric is not the panacea, but it is here now and it should be maximised to aid the carbon reduction we all aspire to. Other modes, I am sure will have reduced 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

Scott Pearson, Managing Director for Newport Transport