The 13 successful bidders are set to add 326 green buses to their fleets

£30m for UK electric hybrid hydrogen and biomethane buses

The government has made £30m available to bus operators and local authorities in order to boost the take up of cleaner, greener vehicles, including electric, hybrid, hydrogen and biomethane buses.

The funding has been awarded across England to encourage the purchase of low emission buses and the installation of chargepoints and other infrastructure.

It will cover up to 90 per cent of the difference in cost between a new bus and its diesel equivalent, as well as up to 75 per cent of the cost of infrastructure.

It builds upon an investment announcement in January of £40m for electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

In total, the 13 successful bidders will be able to add 326 buses to their fleets - including electric, hybrid, hydrogen and biomethane buses - and install more than £7m worth of infrastructure.

Among the winners is Sheffield City Region, which has been awarded £1.3m for 44 buses fitted with hybrid technology.

During a visit to the city, Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: “My message is clear - greener buses are good for passengers and good for British business.

“Low emission buses have already proved to be a real success across the country. They are cost efficient, good for the environment and there are wider benefits.

“We have provided more than £2bn of funding to greener transport schemes since 2011 and by supporting this technology the government is ensuring the UK is driving innovation and investment up and down the country.”

Other successful bidders include:

  • West Midlands Travel, which has been awarded more than £3m to fund 10 hybrid and 19 fully electric buses, and install electric charging facilities
  • Birmingham City Council and Transport for London, which has jointly won £2.8m for 42 state-of-the-art hydrogen fuel cell buses
  • Merseytravel, which has received £4.9m for a total of 72 biomethane, hybrid or electric buses and associated infrastructure
  • Nottingham City Transport which has received £4.4m for 53 biomethane buses and infrastructure

Low emission buses produce at least 15 per cent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than the average modern diesel bus, but they typically cost significantly more.

The government has invested more than £26m since 2013 to retrofit more than 2,000 buses in pollution hotspots with low emission technology. 

The current Tory government has faced a wave of criticism since it took office in May 2015 due to its practice of axing policies designed to reduce the UK’s impact on climate change.

In January, the independent Committee on Climate Change said that the UK needed to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 57 per cent before 2030 in order to meet climate targets agreed upon in December during a meeting with the world’s leaders in Paris. 

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