Alexander Dennis (ADL) has announced a transformative vision that would see the entry into service of at least 10,000 low-, ultra-low- and zero-emission, domestically-built buses over the coming four years.

It is now calling on the government and devolved administrations to accelerate the move to cleaner transport by releasing funding already earmarked for zero-emission buses. Under the Alexander Dennis plans, doing so will allow the first low- and ultra-low-emission buses of the 10,000 that are part of its vision to be in service by the end of 2020.

The latter category includes ADL’s Electric Range concept (pictured). It utilises a diesel-electric hybrid driveline with enhanced engine-off capability. That permits geofenced zero-emission areas without the need for depot or on-street charging.

Work undertaken in parallel with deliveries of those low- and ultra-low-emission buses would see planning and development of infrastructure for zero-emission models started. Combining multiple technologies gives “a highly deliverable proposal with immediate benefits.”

Battery-electric models would be available in volume, supported by hydrogen fuel cell-electric examples where additional range is needed. Hydrogen buses will be ready when a fuelling infrastructure and a sustainable supply of ‘green’ hydrogen are in place, ADL says.

Adds Chief Executive Colin Robertson: “We are supportive of all cutting-edge, clean technologies and we recognise that one size does not fit all. That is why we have developed a choice of solutions that meet cities and operators’ individual requirements and priorities.”

The needs that ADL will cater for include air quality targets, carbon reduction, interior layout, acquisition costs, total cost of ownership or a blend as desired.

The manufacturer adds that it and other bus builders in the UK have the capacity to deliver on the plans.

10,000 buses over four years would represent a return to the healthy levels of investment in fleets that has been damaged by previous governments’ cuts over recent years, it continues. It would also create additional skilled jobs in the UK.