Keolis is planning to convert a 120-bus fleet in south east France to electric operation by 1 July 2023, the first pledge of its kind in France to involve a suburban bus network. The commitment follows the award of an eight-year contract from Région Sud covering the Alpes-Maritimes coastline and the Grasse inland area, including three high-frequency routes, two airport services, and 12 regular services.
Previously responsible for operating part of these two sections, Keolis will now operate and maintain them in their entirety. The fleet for these two sections is composed of 120 buses and coaches including some double-decks.
Renaud Muselier, president of the regional council of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and vice president of Régions de France, is pushing for more sustainable mobility in the region, in line with his intention to make the environment and the climate emergency one of the priorities of his “Gardons une COP d’avance” (staying a COP ahead) regional climate plan, which aims to reduce transport’s greenhouse gas emissions by 25 per cent and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
Keolis has committed to supporting Région Sud’s ambition by rolling out a fleet of full-electric vehicles by July 2023 composed of Yutong and BYD double-deck coaches and Heuliez buses.
The group will be responsible for financing the investment in rolling stock and charging facilities, converting two depots to electric and applying for ISO 14001 certification1 for all Keolis Alpes-Maritimes activities.
The new contracts will build on Keolis’ footprint in the region where it already operates transport networks in Aix-en-Provence, Menton and Antibes/Sophia- Antipolis.