FirstGroup drives towards net zero with 1,000 zero-emission buses

Transport operator FirstGroup is adding 1,000 zero-emission buses to its UK fleet, following a £150 million investment led by Lloyds Bank, with NatWest and Bank of America also participating in the funding.

The Scotland-based group plans to use the £150 million to buy electric bus chassis to help it hit its goal of operating a zero-emission fleet by 2035.

The group also hopes to have four fully electric depots ready by March 2024, in York, Norwich, Leicester and Hampshire.

FirstGroup group treasurer Rod Pirie said: “Sustainability and transport decarbonisation are central to everything we’re trying to achieve here at FirstGroup”.

“The team at Lloyds Bank share the same commitment, and their ongoing support is a big boost in helping us to implement our plans and get closer to our net zero targets.”

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Lloyds Bank head of infrastructure and transport Victoria Whitehead added: “As a market leader, and with its coverage across the UK and Ireland, FirstGroup is perfectly placed to help drive greener transport across the UK and we’re proud to support them in their transition to net zero.”

FirstGroup also undertook a joint venture with Hitachi in November 2023 to lease up to 1,000 electric bus batteries, with NatWest agreeing to join the 12-year syndicated loan facility of £96 million to fund the bus batteries on a standalone basis.

The batteries were then leased to First Bus operating entities across the UK.

Climate crisisFinanceNet zeroNewsTransport

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