Strategic partnership between First Bus and Hitachi Europe targets decarbonisation at Caledonia depot

First Bus is working with Hitachi Europe as a strategic partner for the decarbonisation programme at its Caledonia bus depot in Glasgow. Hitachi will provide a service offering bus batteries for First Glasgow’s EV fleet, smart charging software to manage charging, and a decarbonisation programme that will explore low carbon energy opportunities, with a view to First Bus eventually being able to generate and use its own electricity.

Andrew Jarvis, portfolio managing director, First Bus, says: “This innovative and progressive partnership with Hitachi exemplifies that we aren’t just committed to meeting government guidelines about sustainable energy, but that we’re eager to explore and create greener solutions for the future.”

Ram Ramachander, chief commercial officer and chief digital officer, Hitachi Europe, adds: “Our partnership with First Bus marks a significant step for Hitachi in our goal to deliver zero carbon solutions to the mobility sector. We are immensely proud to be a part of this important deployment and look forward to helping First Bus deliver full fleet decarbonisation by 2035 and working together on wider sustainable technology innovations.”

Hitachi will supply the bus batteries on a subscription basis for the fleet at the Caledonia depot, and guarantee a minimum state of health for each battery, ensuring best possible performance and the optimum time to replace each battery.

It will also provide telematics on the buses and electric charging points to give live status information on each charging point and their processes, enabling remote charging and the ability to tell which vehicles are connected to which charger.

This will provide the First Glasgow depot team with vehicles’ real-time information, allowing them to see how long each bus has left to charge until it is fully powered. The software will help ensure that charging demand does not pull too much power from the grid at peak times, helping balance requirements and the costs of electricity.

First Bus and Hitachi Europe will collaboratively design low carbon technology such as solar panels and battery energy storage solutions for the site. It is envisaged that this has potential to enable First Glasgow to generate its own electricity as well as delivering zero-carbon charging hubs for other business fleet users.