First Bus has begun work to turn its Glasgow Caledonia depot into the UK’s largest EV charging hub, capable of charging 300 electric buses on site. The redevelopment will take place over the next 18 months and Phase One, to install 11 dual DC rapid charging units, will be completed by September 2021.
The first phase will support the introduction of 22 new electric buses on to Glasgow’s streets ahead of November’s COP26 climate summit. Phase Two will begin this summer and will install a further 69 dual DC charging points over a period of six months. First Bus has invested £35.6m in the depot development programme, with a further £28.2m awarded through the Scottish Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme.
First Bus, which currently operates two electric buses in Glasgow, states that the project will enable it to run 150 such vehicles by March 2023.
The 150kW modular rapid charging units are supplied by Heliox and will be controlled by smart charging software that optimises the draw on the local power grid. The operator claims that each vehicle will be charged overnight for a day’s operation and the interior pre-heated for the start of every shift.
First Bus managing director, Janette Bell, said, “We are proud to be announcing the UK’s largest EV charging infrastructure as part of our transition to a zero-emission fleet. We are making excellent progress on our commitments to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions in our communities. Launching this project at Caledonia depot, the largest of its kind, is a very exciting next step and reinforces that both First Bus and our stakeholders are making continued investment in the future of bus.”