Hitachi and FirstGroup have entered into a partnership to drive the decarbonization of transport fleets. The two companies will jointly invest £20m ($27m) to purchase up to 1,000 electric bus batteries, thereby contributing to FirstGroup’s ambitious plan to remove 1,500 polluting diesel buses from the roads. Under the collaboration, each firm will invest £10m ($13.5m) to support the acquisition of the batteries, while Hitachi ZeroCarbon will furnish battery charging and management services for the new fleet.
The alliance also includes a commitment to procure an additional 500 vehicles after 2026, aiding FirstGroup’s efforts to increase the efficiency and reduce the costs of its expanding electric bus fleet. By improving battery management, the companies hope to extend the lifespan of the buses beyond the initial eight-year warranty period. Hitachi’s general manager for green energy and mobility strategy planning division, Alistair Dormer, expressed the company’s enthusiasm about using its “innovative technologies and global expertise” to decarbonize fleets and unlock additional revenue streams for transport operators worldwide.
FirstGroup, in addition to achieving its goal of operating a fully zero-emission bus fleet by 2035, expects to lower its energy costs through the partnership’s smart battery management and dynamic energy use features. The initiative is estimated to save approximately 85,000 tonnes of CO2 per year by removing diesel buses from the UK’s roads.
Graham Sutherland, CEO of FirstGroup, described the collaboration with Hitachi as a “pioneering alliance” that will enhance the electrification process of the fleet and depots while offering greater financial visibility and retention of residual battery value. He also highlighted the potential for Hitachi ZeroCarbon to deliver leading decarbonization solutions to transport operators globally, leveraging their joint experience.
In related news, the UK government is poised to announce substantial funding to support electric vehicle battery manufacturing projects in the country. Through subsidies and grants, the government aims to attract EV and battery manufacturers to the UK, bolstering domestic manufacturing across various sectors.
1. What is the partnership between Hitachi and FirstGroup about?
– The partnership aims to accelerate the decarbonization of transport fleets by jointly investing £20m ($27m) to purchase up to 1,000 electric bus batteries.
2. How will Hitachi ZeroCarbon contribute to the partnership?
– Hitachi ZeroCarbon will provide battery charging and management services for the new fleet.
3. What are the goals of FirstGroup in terms of fleet decarbonization?
– FirstGroup aims to operate a fully zero-emission bus fleet by 2035 and plans to remove 1,500 polluting diesel buses from the roads.
4. How will the partnership help FirstGroup reduce costs?
– Through smart battery management and dynamic energy use, the partnership is expected to lower FirstGroup’s energy costs.
5. What additional funding is the UK government expected to announce?
– The UK government plans to provide substantial funding to support EV battery manufacturing projects in order to attract EV and battery manufacturers to the country and stimulate domestic manufacturing investment.