Alexander Dennis Ltd. (ADL) and BYD UK are supplying over 130 battery-electric double deck buses to electric vehicle (EV) fleet and battery storage company Zenobē and National Express.
ADL will also supply them with spare parts for planned preventive maintenance over a period of 16 years from acceptance of the vehicles.
The deal will see over 130 BYD ADL Enviro400EV double deck electric buses, all manufactured in Britain by ADL in partnership with BYD, enter service in Coventry from early 2023 as a part of the city’s successful bid to become the country’s first all-electric bus city and replace around 300 diesel vehicles by 2025.
“As the UK’s leading provider of electric buses, we are delighted to be part of this ETaaS deal with partners Zenobē and National Express,” says Paul Davies, president and managing director at ADL. “This innovative model brings together government funding and business innovation to deliver an affordable way of rolling out zero-emission bus fleets at scale. The country will further benefit from the choice of 130 British-built vehicles that ensure money is reinvested into the manufacturing sector and local communities, where they support skilled jobs and apprenticeships at our own facilities, as well as in our extensive supply chain.”
Zenobē will be providing electric transportation as a service (ETaaS) to National Express, financing and managing the full turnkey solution that includes new BYD ADL vehicles, on-board battery replacement, charging and grid infrastructure, a second-life battery system at the depot, unique software to optimize charging, parts, and full operational support.
“This really is a globally important deal,” states Steven Meersman, co-founder and director at Zenobē. “We are incredibly excited to be leading the way for the electric bus industry, with ETaaS revolutionizing the way fleets are electrified. By retaining ownership of the vehicles and taking on the risk of switching to zero-emission, we are giving National Express the use of an electric bus fleet without the hassle of owning one, making the transition to a zero-emission fleet more financially desirable. We’re excited to use our new model to help many more operators and local authorities across the UK – and the world – transition to electric, and ultimately accelerate progress towards net zero and clean air.”
The work builds on ADL and Zenobē’s existing partnership with National Express, previously providing charging infrastructure and batteries for 29 BYD ADL Enviro400EV electric buses in Coventry and Birmingham in 2020. The project will be financed partly through the partnership between Zenobē and National Express, with some investment also coming from the £50 million grant from the Department of Transport, awarded to the West Midlands Combined Authority for Coventry’s all-electric bus city scheme.
“This ground-breaking partnership with Zenobē further demonstrates our leadership as National Express takes another significant step towards our fully zero emission bus fleet ambition,” comments Tom Stables, CEO for National Express UK and Germany. “Through this pioneering new way of working, Zenobē’s innovative solution provides us with the reliability and flexibility we need to accelerate the roll-out of our greener, cleaner vehicles, while we focus on delivering an excellent service for the people of Coventry. Buses are already one of the cleanest ways to travel.”
“The issue of climate change is one that requires immediate action,” mentions Frank Thorpe, BYD UK’s managing director. “We believe that this arrangement is a positive, more viable way forward for many public transport operators to swiftly integrate and transition to zero-emission pure-electric bus solutions. National Express has first-hand experience operating BYD ADL eBuses, which utilize BYD’s pioneering battery and integrated electronic technology.”