First 30 electric buses for Twickenham

Double-decker Electroliner buses operate from Abellio depot, after a ‘green power upgrade’ by UK Power Networks. 

The district of Twickenham in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames is electrifying its bus service. Electricity distributor UK Power Networks installed 2.5km of new underground cable and upgraded the local substation through an investment of some £1.8m to deliver 3.86 megavolt amperes (MVA) of additional power capacity. The equipment will connect 30 charge points to charge buses overnight.

Jon Eardley (left) with a new Electroliner bus and charge point at Twickenham bus depot, photo courtesy of UK Power Networks

Jon Eardley (left) with a new Electroliner bus and charge point at Twickenham bus depot, photo courtesy of UK Power Networks

In future, the project will enable the electrification of up to 150 buses. The first 30 electric buses are already in service, on the 111 route from Heathrow Central to Kingston’s Cromwell Road Bus Station. The new Electroliner buses have information screens inside and out, as well as roof lights on the top deck. They are built by Wrightbus. 

The electrification project supports the transition to net zero carbon emissions as well as London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s plans for the capital’s entire bus fleet to be fully electric by 2034. Abellio London operates 53 bus routes in the capital for Transport for London (TfL), plus rail replacement and event services across the UK. It operates some 9% of London’s total bus network, running 800 vehicles and employing 2,500 staff across six depots in central, south and west London. 

UK Power Networks is investing £66m across 85 sites to help fast-track low carbon energy projects that will help achieve the government’s 10-point plan towards net zero by 2050. 

Jon Eardley, Managing Director of Abellio London Bus, says: ‘This project will give us the capacity to fully convert our buses at Twickenham to electric, cleaning the air and helping to deliver the mayor’s zero emission ambition. 

‘We’re delighted to work with UK Power Networks to accelerate these plans through its Green Recovery fund. Here at Abellio London we are committed to ambitious and sustained investment in green infrastructure and a zero-emission fleet. We see this as essential for attracting more people onto public transport, which in turn promotes other forms of active travel.’ 

Louise Cheeseman, Director of Bus at TfL, adds: ‘These works at the Twickenham garage are helping drive forward our zero-emission bus agenda, giving bus operators the capacity to charge the significant number of vehicles now operating in London.  

‘London has one of the largest and greenest fleets in the world, but we won’t stop until every single one of the capital’s buses is zero-emission.’ 

Adam Lakey, who leads the green recovery projects for UK Power Networks, says: ‘This investment in essential new power infrastructure will enable Twickenham Bus Depot’s entire bus fleet to go completely electric in the years ahead, improving air quality and reducing carbon emissions. 

‘We worked with local communities, government and Ofgem to identify projects where investment in electricity infrastructure could kick-start a green recovery, promote economic recovery and make tangible progress to connect more electric vehicles.’ 


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