EV bus charging infrastructure: ‘Open it to others’, say suppliers

SSE and Swarco want bus charging infrastructure opened to other businesses

Opening battery-electric charging infrastructure in bus depots to other businesses that run electric vehicles “would help to accelerate the UK’s transition to low carbon transport,” energy industry businesses SSE and Swarco Smart Charging have said.

The two suppliers are already working to identify opportunities around the country where bus depots can be equipped with charging facilities that can then be made available for use by other local business fleets, they say.

The idea was highlighted on 25 October, when the Road to Renewables tour – which is using a battery-electric BYD ADL Enviro400EV to drive from London to Glasgow ahead of the COP26 climate change conference – stopped at Stagecoach Manchester’s Sharston depot. It is home to 32 of the type in the operator’s fleet and the same number of charging points.

SSE and Swarco add that the concept around shared use bus charging infrastructure in depots is that while buses are in service during the day, other businesses that may wish to charge then can do so. Those visiting vehicle types could include cars, refuse collection vehicles and vans. The two suppliers point out that two-thirds of the battery-electric cars purchased that are sold in the UK are business purchases.

SSE is working with Stagecoach to support business cases submitted to the Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas scheme in England that the operator is involved in. In Scotland, SSE is supporting Stagecoach as it begins the delivery of battery-electric bus projects that have been part-funded by the Scottish Ultra Low Emission Bus Scheme.

Five chargers from Swarco, serving ten bus bays, will begin installation by SSE at Stagecoach East Scotland’s Perth depot this month. 11 more at Stagecoach Bluebird’s Aberdeen depot to serve 22 buses, along with a single opportunity charger in the city centre, will begin installation in November.