Transport for West Midlands has been working with Coventry City Council on the scheme and has secured £50m Department for Transport funding to develop charging infrastructure, including upgrades such as charge points at bus depots across Coventry and Warwickshire.
The 50 new National Express Coventry double-decker buses are the first of up to 300 new vehicles due to arrive over the next three years under ‘Coventry’s Electric’ programme. National Express has also invested over £60m, meaning over a third of its Coventry fleet is now electric, with another 80 committed for early 2023.
Andy Street, mayor of the West Midlands, said: ‘Local people are now starting to see these wonderful buses on the streets of Coventry - offering them a quieter, smoother and more comfortable journey.
‘As we seek to tackle the climate emergency and maintain our #WM2041 net zero commitment, these British made buses are saving energy, cutting fuel costs for operators and improving our air quality.
‘I cannot wait to see even more electric buses arriving in the next few years as Coventry becomes a truly all-electric bus city.’
Tom Stables, CEO National Express UK, added: ‘Our vision is to become the UK’s most sustainable bus and coach company and it’s been great to see this month’s COP27 putting a real focus on how businesses can play their part in addressing climate change.
‘More people using public transport has significant benefits for society including safer roads, increased access to opportunities, reduced congestion, improved air quality and more space in our cities.
‘We’re proud and excited to be leading the way in making Coventry all-electric and are actively recruiting new drivers to join us in the green revolution. Full training is provided and we have recently launched new pay rates of up to £29,500, or more with overtime.’