Equipmake, has welcomed newly announced changes to the Scottish Zero Emissions Bus Challenge Fund (ScotZEB), which are set to include financial awards for companies who repower buses with electric drivetrains.
Under the ScotZEB Phase 2 which will open for bids in spring 2023, companies who offer repowering with a fully electric drivetrain are now eligible to bid for financial support. With local authorities and public service bus operators eligible too, the newly announced ScotZEB changes indicate incentives will be available to reduce the purchase price of a repowered bus, enabling fleets to go electric quickly and cost-effectively.
Ian Foley, CEO, Equipmake, says: “Repowering is an important and cost-effective transitionary technology that can bridge the gap between diesel and a new electric bus fleet. We welcome newly-announced changes to ScotZEB Phase 2, which can play a vital role in making a repowered electric bus even more cost-effective for an operator and accelerating Scotland’s transition to a zero-emission bus fleet.”
Equipmake’s repower technology programme involves an inspection of each bus to ensure its adaptability to its modular electric chassis. Once its suitability is verified, the process itself is quick, with up to five repowers a week being completed, ensuring a working bus is kept off the road for as short a time as possible.
Equipmake says its programme makes sense from a cost perspective, with each conversion coming in at less than half the price of a new electric bus, and with most buses expected to remain in service for 14 years or beyond, operators can still make significant efficiencies by repowering a bus half way through its working life.
Foley adds: “By repowering buses with electric power, the technology exists to bring cleaner air to towns and cities very rapidly indeed. The Scottish government is to be praised for the changes to ScotZEB Phase 2 and 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 & Wales.
“The opportunity is clear for all to see. Repowering the drivetrains of existing buses with electric technology at scale can rapidly and dramatically reduce pollution and provide the UK bus industry with a much-needed shot in the arm. The UK Government must seize the initiative and make it happen. Contributing to conversions would be an ideal way of doing so.”