Martyn Bellis: ‘Looking to the future can help us cope with the now’

Planning ahead can be challenging in times of crisis. But reliable, efficient and clean transport is integral to our future

Earlier in the year I wrote about the future of transport for our industry. Many businesses in our sector are still recovering from the impact of the pandemic and adjusting to new patterns of customer behaviour.

Our industry has shown impressive resilience despite the enormous setbacks of the crisis and its aftermath. That’s why I still want coach and bus operators to look to the future, and to get back on track to where they were headed before all the disruption.

A greener future

The future needs of this industry remain unchanged – we are all working towards a greener, cleaner environment for our cities and passengers.

Electric vehicles have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 50% compared to equivalent conventional petrol and diesel vehicles over the lifetime of their use.

A growing number of transport operators are therefore moving away from traditional diesels and investing in ‘greener’ buses.

Given the high emissions of diesel-fuelled commercial vehicles, this will have significant benefits for reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality. As well as contributing to a reduction in carbon emissions, electric buses are also quieter and provide a smoother ride than their diesel counterparts.

‘E-Mobility solutions that work’

The growth in electric vehicles, charging infrastructure and energy management is transforming the way vehicles are powered and how people and goods are moved.

Siemens is at the forefront of this development, working with Siemens Financial Services (SFS) and other technology vendors to implement e-Mobility solutions that work in practice.

Intelligent charging infrastructure, from Siemens Smart Infrastructure, connect grids with charging infrastructures and buildings, communities and cities.

Successful e-Mobility solutions integrate into smart grids to make the most of local and renewable energy sources, while always ensuring continuity of supply. The process can be complex and must meet the increasingly stringent regulatory challenges of environmental protection, resource efficiency and CO2 reduction.

In the end the public expect charging to be effortless and fast.

Financial support is here

Innovative finance solutions have been developed to enable operators to sustainably invest in low-emission technology, including associated infrastructure, even in times of economic uncertainty and reduced passenger numbers.

Instead of viewing costs of vehicles in isolation, operators can work with financiers who analyse the whole fleet, building a collaborative, consultative approach towards energy efficient technology as it continues to develop. This sort of approach is only available from a financier, such as SFS, with direct expertise in the field.

Generalist financiers and banks are unlikely to understand the application of the technology and the benefits it can bring.

At SFS, we want to help the coach and bus community keep the wheels moving and emerge from this time stronger.