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Transport minister hails SSE partnership as it launches COP26 electric bus tour from London to Glasgow of net zero projects

18 Oct 2021

Transport minister Trudy Harrison MP has signalled her support for a unique electric bus tour from London to Glasgow to celebrate low carbon energy and transport projects that are transforming our lives.

The 11-day tour kicks off at Go-Ahead’s Northumberland Park bus garage in north London, one of the largest of its kind in Europe, to showcase the people and places driving the transition to net zero.

The site is also home to the Bus2Grid project, led by SSE, BYD, UK Power Networks, TfL, and other partners, which could enable electric buses to become two-way chargers capable of putting power back into the Grid. Northumberland Park can charge 100 electric buses overnight and London currently has 950 electric buses on the road or on order.

The vehicle being used on the ‘Road to Renewables’ tour is a BYD ADL Enviro400EV [pure electric] double decker built in Britain by BYD and Alexander Dennis with a range of 160 miles - meaning it could get from London to Sheffield on a single charge. It is the UK’s best-selling electric double decker electric bus and one of 1,000 BYD ADL electric buses already on the road or on order.

"Today’s launch event is a wonderful example of the collaboration and innovation required to reach our net zero targets ahead of COP26, and Northumberland Park is already playing a huge role by bringing cleaner air to London with its 117 EV buses in operation."

Trudy Harrison, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport (DfT)

“The Government has recently pledged a further £2.8bn to support the switch to cleaner vehicles and the Bus2Grid project based here is precisely the kind of research we need to power up the electric vehicle revolution, not just for cars but for public transport too.”

Nathan Sanders, Managing Director of SSE Distributed Energy, said: “With just two weeks to go before COP26 in Glasgow there could not be a better time to take to the road with our message that innovation and collaboration are key to tackling the climate emergency.

“SSE is proud to be a major partner of COP26 and proud of the EV infrastructure our distributed energy team provide to help create greener transport and cleaner cities. We’re excited by all the people and projects we’re showcasing on our ‘road to renewables’ and our innovative Bus2Grid project that could see buses become two-way chargers is a great place to start our tour.”

After the photo call involving the Mayor of Haringey, Councillor Adam Jogee, the COP26 branded bus will hit the road north reaching Glasgow three days before the climate change conference gets underway there.

The tour includes meeting the young green engineers who are based at the 500MW offshore windfarm at Greater Gabbard at the UK’s most easterly point; as well as the businesses and local authorities driving the decarbonisation of cities like Oxford and Peterborough.

The ‘Road to Renewables’ journey concludes in Glasgow on October 29th three days before COP26 gets underway where the bus will open an official charging garage for the climate change summit.

SSE is a major partner at COP26; and alongside the Go-Ahead Group, BYD/Alexander Dennis and SWARCO will use the EV bus tour to showcase examples of the national effort already underway to decarbonise.

The Road to Renewables EV bus journey includes:

  • Northumberland Park bus garage in north London – home to the Bus2Grid project that could turn EV buses into two-way chargers.
  • Oxford – where SSE Networks is working with local business and community projects to help them transition to a zero-carbon energy system as part of its Project Leo initiative.
  • Lowestoft and the site of Greater Gabbard – a 500MW offshore wind farm which blazed a trail for the renewables sector when SSE built it in 2012. The stop will acknowledge the green engineers of tomorrow.
  • Peterborough Integrated Renewables Infrastructure project (PIRI) - the largest smart city-wide energy system in the UK. PIRI represents ‘whole system thinking’ in action with its capability to cut energy bills as well as provide green heat, electricity, and transport for locals.
  • Manchester – where SSE Energy Solutions is keen to help the city realise its net zero ambitions.
  • North Berwick – site of Berwick Bank offshore wind farm. When complete in 2027 it will be able to power over five million homes – equivalent to supplying all of Scotland’s households twice over.
  • Glasgow on October 29th marks the final destination on the Road to Renewables – just three days before COP26 gets underway. The aim is to be part of a joint celebration with First Bus as they complete a key phase of their Glasgow EV bus garage, set to be the largest of its kind in the UK. EV infrastructure being installed there by SSE’s distributed energy division will power 150 new EV buses for Glasgow by the end of this year, helping to create cleaner air for the city centre.