National Express West Midlands and Zenobē scoop national Environmental Innovation award

29 November 2023 1:00 PM

UK Bus Awards Winner NXWM And Zenobe Environmental Innovation

National Express West Midlands and Zenobe won the Environmental Innovation award at the UK Bus Awards

National Express West Midlands, part of Mobico Group, and Zenobē have scooped a national award for environmental innovation by making cleaner, greener transport choices available in Coventry.

The region’s biggest bus company and the electric vehicle fleet and battery storage specialist were among the best of the UK’s bus industry at the 2023 UK Bus Awards in London yesterday where they picked up the Environmental Innovation award. 

Zenobē is providing National Express Coventry with Electric-Transportation-as-a-Service (ETaaS), removing the risk and overcoming barriers associated with the electrification of a fleet.

It means the bus operator has an end-to-end electrification solution that provides reliability and flexibility. It includes on-board replacement batteries and a charging infrastructure system at the depot with solar panels and a second-life battery system - helping balance energy needs by supplementing peak charging demand and minimising the impact on the grid, while also supporting overnight charging.

The UK Bus Awards judges recognised the huge joint investment and efforts to launch 130 fully electric zero emission double decker vehicles in Coventry earlier this year. The project also involved upgrading a 1980’s bus depot to cater for a full fleet of electric vehicles while still maintaining a full bus service during major works. 

Alex Jensen, CEO National Express UK, Ireland and Germany, said: 

“We’re incredibly proud to have been recognised, alongside Zenobē for playing our part in making Coventry the UK’s first All-Electric Bus City. 

“By working together with Zenobē and other partners including the Department for Transport, Transport for West Midlands, and Coventry City Council we have made great progress in creating a greener and more efficient public transport system for the city’s residents, employees and visitors.

“As we have some of the cheapest ticket fares in England, alongside flexible ticketing, our customers can have the confidence that they are doing their bit for the planet when they choose to ditch the car and travel by bus.” 

Steven Meersman, Co-Founder and Director of Zenobē, said: 

"By providing National Express West Midlands with Electric-Transportation-as-a-Service, our entire end-to-end package makes it more economical to switch fleets to electric than ever before.

"Supported by our fleet management software and charging and grid infrastructure, our solution has enabled them to electrify a significant portion of their Coventry bus fleet quickly and without complexity.

"We are pleased our partnership with National Express West Midlands has been recognised by the UK Bus Awards as a prime example of how fleet electrification can be achieved at scale, supporting bus operators to achieve zero-emission bus commitments without delay.”

The impact that Coventry’s All-Electric Bus City project will have on improved air quality, reduced emissions and the community in general will be huge. Not only do the electric vehicles produce zero emissions at the tailpipe - saving nearly 8,600 tonnes of carbon every year - they are powered by renewable ‘green’ energy thanks to solar panels, a second-life battery and charge-point infrastructure all installed at the bus depot by electrification specialist Zenobē. 

The overall project has been funded by a combination of Government funding and investment from National Express. In 2021 Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), secured £50 million funding from the Department of Transport to ensure every bus in Coventry is zero-emission. Funding was used to replace the city’s bus fleet with zero-emission electric buses along with charging infrastructure.

The latest 130 fully electric zero emission double-decker vehicles launched in service earlier this year are in addition to 10 others that were introduced by National Express Coventry in 2020, supported by £2.2 million of government funding from the Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme.

With 80 percent of National Express Coventry’s fleet now zero-emission, it marks a significant step forward in Coventry’s mission to promote sustainable transportation and create a healthier environment for the community. 

Watch National Express Coventry's All-Electric Bus City video here.

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