Members of the supply chain have responded positively to diversification of vehicle types and technologies that are provisionally in scope of the Scottish Zero Emission Bus (ScotZEB2) challenge fund.
ScotZEB2 is set to capture zero-emission coaches and buses that are used on a wide range of work, including private hire and tourism-related duties, home-to-school transport and community transport in addition to the previous core of registered services. It also indicatively includes support for retrofit of existing vehicles to zero-emission.
Pelican Bus and Coach, which has already supplied a significant number of battery-electric coaches and buses that have benefitted from previous rounds of Scottish Government funding, quickly welcomed the expansion of scope provisionally represented by ScotZEB2.
Head of Yutong Sales Ian Downie says that the Scottish Government should be “applauded” for the move, noting that the services operated by those parts of the industry that are new to zero-emission funding in ScotZEB2 “play a pivotal role in transporting people.”
Battery-electric retrofit suppliers Equipmake and Kleanbus have also welcomed ScotZEB2 provisionally including repower technology. Equipmake has additionally called on the UK government to follow suit with a funding strategy that incentivises the purchase of such buses.
CEO Ian Foley – who has previously advocated repowering – says the approach represents “an important and cost-effective transitionary technology to bridge the gap between diesel and a new electric bus fleet.” Mr Foley adds that the Scottish Government “is to be praised” for the changes it is set to introduce with ScotZEB2.
“We now call on the UK government to outline an electric bus strategy that will see the purchase price of a repowered electric bus incentivised in England and Wales,” he continues, adding that indicative inclusion of repower in the wider scope of ScotZEB2 will potentially permit the “accelerating of Scotland’s transition to a zero-emission bus fleet.”
Kleanbus has taken a similar approach, adding that various finance options further strengthen the case for repower. It claims that such technology can be achieved at 20% of the price of a new battery-electric bus and deliver operating costs that are one-third of those of a comparable diesel. Co-Founder and CEO Joe Tighe says that repower offers a “fast and efficient way towards zero-emission.”
ScotZEB2 will open to bids in spring 2023.