Greater Manchester’s bus operators will invest in 70 new electric buses after receiving a multi-million pound funding boost from government, giving the city one of largest e-bus fleets in Europe.

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and several other private bus operators in the city region will together receive nearly a third of a £48 million government funding pot for electric buses.

TfGM successfully bid for £5.4 million to part-fund 23 new electric buses and charging infrastructure, while Stagecoach Manchester, First Bus Manchester and Manchester Community Transport have been awarded funding for a further 47.

Clean Air Plan

The investment will complement Greater Manchester’s forthcoming Clean Air Plan to tackle poor air quality.

There are nearly 2,000 buses running in Greater Manchester, but only around 250 currently have the most environmentally-efficient Euro VI engines.

Greater Manchester major Andy Burnham said: “Some buses contribute heavily to poor air quality, a problem that affects us all - but in particular the poorest and most vulnerable in society - and which contributes to the equivalent of 1,200 deaths every year in Greater Manchester.

“Buses have an essential role to play in that, which is why we’re working towards having a zero-emission bus fleet.”

Enviro400 EV buses

Stagecoach Manchester’s £6.9 million funding award was the largest single award outside London and will contribute towards purchasing 32 Enviro400 EV City buses over the next two years.

The buses have a range of up to 190 miles and are built by UK bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis. The new fleet will offer a 62 per cent improvement in CO2 emissions over the latest low carbon emission buses on Manchester’s streets and cut harmful nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions by 9 per cent, as well as saving 920,000 litres of diesel a year.

Multi-million pound investment will also deliver major charging infrastructure at Stagecoach depots, including intelligent chargers to limit loadings on the electricity grid.

Elisabeth Tasker, managing director Stagecoach Manchester, said: “Our plans will put Greater Manchester at the forefront of the drive to improve local air quality, and help cement Britain's position as global leader in manufacturing low-emission vehicles.”

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