Scotland’s first fully electric fleet of community minibuses hit the road

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COMMUNITY Transport Glasgow has unveiled Glasgow’s first ever all-electric minibuses, fully funded by ScottishPower’s Green Economy Fund to support vulnerable and elderly people across the city to access vital appointments and community activities.

The network operator is supporting Community Transport Glasgow, who work in partnership with Glasgow City Council, to use these new buses as social transport – making it Scotland’s first community transport service with an all-electric fleet.

CEO of ScottishPower, Frank Mitchell, commented on the venture: “Glasgow has ambitious plans to be the UK’s first net zero carbon city by 2030 but we must ensure that no community is left behind.

“That is at the heart of our Green Economy Fund, which helps communities build their own green economy and establish low carbon infrastructure.

“We are so proud to be funding Community Transport Glasgow as they begin to build an electric fleet that will allow them to play their part in improving the city’s air quality and supporting some of the city’s most vulnerable residents.

“SP Energy Networks is working closely with Glasgow City Council and a wide range of local partners to support the city’s net zero vision.

“Just [three] weeks ago, we unveiled Glasgow’s first commercial electric bus route – the M3 from Milton to the City Centre – and infrastructure that will allow First Bus to introduce 22 electric vehicles in the future.

“Decarbonising Glasgow requires everyone to think and act differently – we’re playing our part by supporting innovative solutions and providing a roadmap to net zero for Glasgow.”

ScottishPower is directly funding five 100% electric minibuses and two fully electric people carriers; replacing ageing diesel vehicles that put the charity’s vital community work in jeopardy as they had become increasingly unreliable.

The community transport minibuses will be a first for Glasgow, as both 15-seater and seven-seater vehicles are fully electric and Orion E low floor accessible – which ensures the fleet provides transport solutions to assist vulnerable communities throughout Glasgow while helping to improve air quality in the city.

In the long-term, the new vehicles will enable Community Transport Glasgow to reduce its carbon footprint through a 33 tonnes reduction in CO2 emissions.

The all-electric community vehicles are being funded as part of ScottishPower’s £20million Green Economy Fund, which supports Glasgow’s mission to become the UK’s first net zero emissions city by 2030 and the Scottish Government’s ambitious plans to meet climate change targets.

The fund also aims to boost local economic growth, improve air quality across the country and deliver a better future, quicker for all.

The move to electric vehicles assists with securing long-term sustainability that will enable Community Transport Glasgow to continue to provide transport solutions to over 75,000 passengers who depend on the services each year, including older adults, those with a disability, those with mobility issues and those who are socially isolated.

Community Transport Glasgow operates in Greater Glasgow, but with a key focus on East End of the city (Shettleston, Parkhead, Cranhill, Easterhouse, Garrowhill, Gallowgate, Dennistoun) and the West (Drumchapel, Knightswood, Scotstoun).

Graham Dunn, Manager at Community Transport Glasgow, said: “Community Transport Glasgow is delighted that it is able to move to an electric fleet that will reduce our CO2 emissions.

“This would not have been possible without full funding from SP Energy Networks’ Green Economy Fund.

“This will be transformational, not only in terms of the environment but also for the social impact it will have as it assists with our long-term financial sustainability to ensure we can continue to provide vital transport services to the vulnerable communities of Glasgow.

“Our ambition is to lead the way by being the first community transport organisation to operate with a fully electric fleet in Scotland.”