First North & West Yorkshire directors 'switch on' York Electric fleet with Cllr Claire Douglas (right)

First Bus ‘switch on’ new all-electric fleet in York as zero emission transformation gathers pace

  • £23m investment in greener public transport in York
  • Fully electric fleet to be completed by the end of 2023
  • Depot power charging installation continues
  • Thousands of tonnes of CO2 emissions saved every year

First Bus together with City of York Council today (Friday 25 August) ‘switched on’ a new fleet of zero emission buses for York in a transformation that will see its depot become one of the first outside London to be fully electric.

The buses herald a new York Electric branding with the first vehicles operating from Sunday 27 August on the Service 4 route from the city centre to Acomb.

Electric buses will then gradually be introduced on to selected corridors in the coming weeks with services 1 and 5 expected to follow soon.

The full order of 53 StreetDeck Electroliner double-deckers and the single-decker GB Kite Electroliner are manufactured by Wrightbus in Northern Ireland with features including audio visual next stop technology, USB charging points and Wi-Fi connectivity. The fleet represents a total investment by First Bus of £13m supported with £10.2m funding secured by City of York Council from the Government’s Zebra scheme.

Each bus will save up to 75 tonnes of carbon emissions a year, meaning an anticipated annual reduction of nearly 4,000 tonnes of CO2 when the full fleet is in operation.

Andrew Cullen, Managing Director of First Bus in North & West Yorkshire, said: “An even greener transport revolution beckons in York and we are leading this change.

“We’re proud to unveil these latest zero emission buses and are confident they will appeal to our customers and attract more people to consider bus travel by realising the real impact this has in reducing congestion, creating cleaner air and supporting the York economy.”

He added: “It is real evidence of our continuing successful partnership with City of York Council in bringing major improvements to bus services and supporting a shared ambition for a net-zero transport system and reducing carbon emissions in the city.”

The buses can carry around 90 passengers and have a range of up to 200 miles on full charge.

Councillor Claire Douglas, Leader of City of York Council, said: “Bringing this new technology to York is an exciting, important step towards a healthier city and reaching our key goal of being net zero by 2030. As the York fleet gradually becomes fully electric, I hope it will attract more and more people to using buses as we deliver a vision for cleaner, more efficient ways of getting around our city.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved in helping York lead the way by delivering this electric fleet and combined with investments and improvements via York’s Bus Service Improvement Plan, showing our commitment to providing more frequent and affordable bus networks.”

As part of the overall investment, the First Bus depot is currently being transformed with the installation of power charging and infrastructure to handle the full zero emission fleet, which will total 86 buses.



Notes to editors

Media enquiries to Richard Harrison, PR Manager, First Bus North & West Yorkshire 07973 668116  

About First Bus 

First Bus is one of the UK’s largest bus operators. Making journeys easier for our customers, we were the first national bus operator to accept contactless card payments across all of our services and our First Bus App is voted ‘best in class’ amongst UK bus operators. Our most recent investments are in new, state-of-the-art buses across our key networks.

We work proactively with our local authority partners, making a positive impact on air quality, tackling congestion and improving customer experience. We are focused on First Bus becoming a leader in the transition to a low-carbon future and are committed to operating a zero emission bus fleet by 2035; we have pledged not to purchase any new diesel buses after December 2022. We also operate the Aircoach network in Ireland. 

First Bus is an equal opportunities employer and a division of FirstGroup.