McGill’s plots more electrification as Zenobe work grows

McGills and Zenobe extend existing partnership for electric buses

McGill’s Buses and Zenobe have begun early work to design solutions for the introduction of zero-emission buses to the former First Scotland East operation, the two parties have said.

The news came as McGill’s and Zenobe also announced that they will extend their existing collaboration to facilitate the deployment of 41 further Yutong battery-electric buses in the Glasgow City Region over coming months. Those vehicles and infrastructure will be part-funded with £9.09m from the first phase of the Scottish Zero Emission Bus scheme.

Zenobe will fund the batteries on the 41 buses, build the required infrastructure at McGill’s depots in Greenock, Inchinnan and Johnstone, and provide software to manage the fleet once in operation. When the 41 Yutongs are delivered by Pelican Bus and Coach, McGill’s Group – including its Xplore Dundee operation – will have 109 battery-electric buses.

The project will involve introduction of electrification at Greenock – to go live in Q1 2023 – and expansion of provision at Inchinnan and Johnstone. Vehicles will charge off-peak to minimise costs, Zenobe says. The two parties have already worked together to deploy 68 battery-electric buses, 12 of which are with Xplore Dundee and 56 with McGill’s Buses.

Zenobe says it is committed to supporting net zero goals in Scotland. It plans to invest more than £690m in the country over the next five years. Co-Founder and Director Steven Meersman adds that the supplier is “very excited” to expand its relationship with McGill’s.

McGill’s Group CEO Ralph Roberts has also welcomed the furthering of the collaboration. He says that the operator is “committed to offering our customers clean journeys” and that extending its work with Zenobe is “another important milestone in decarbonising our industry.”

McGill’s has delivered 7.5 million passenger journeys on zero-emission buses in the past 12 months, with over three million vehicle miles covered.