UK’s largest bus depot able to charge electric buses in four hours

First Bus reports that it is able to fully charge buses in its growing electric fleet in just four hours as the first phase of a major works programme is completed at what will be the UK’s largest EV charging hub.

Glasgow’s Caledonia bus depot has reached a key milestone in its green transformation plans with the installation of 11 rapid 150kW dual cable charging units. This first phase of work has been completed ahead of a new batch of 22 electric buses arriving at the depot before COP26 next month.

With phased completion for the remainder of the work scheduled to take place across the next 12 months, the depot has been designed to accommodate and charge up to 300 EV buses on site – and will see the introduction of 150 electric buses over the next 18 months.

The dual cable DC rapid charging units have been supplied and installed by Heliox. Each rapid charging station will be controlled via smart charging software to ensure power is used in the most efficient way. This approach will help minimise the drawdown from the national grid at peak times.

With an additional 69 rapid chargers to be installed in Phase Two, Caledonia depot will soon be able to charge 162 vehicles at one time.

Janette Bell, managing director, First Bus UK, says: “We’re proud to be putting our weight behind Scotland’s green ambitions and the completion of this first phase of works at Caledonia depot give us an exciting glimpse into the future of bus. To see this first EV charging station site completed and ready to go in Glasgow, just as the city prepares to host COP26 later this year, is a brilliant achievement.”

The depot transformation is costing more than £63million, with First Bus investing £35.6million into the project and the Scottish Government’s Scottish Ultra Low Bus Scheme (SULEB) funding a further £28.2million.