Arrival and First Bus confirm the start of zero-emission bus trials
LONDON, Feb 22, 2021 — Arrival, the company creating electric vehicles using its radical new technologies, today announced that it will begin trials of its zero-emission Bus with First Bus, one of the UK’s largest transport operators. The trials, which will see Arrival buses navigating existing First Bus routes in the UK, will begin this Autumn. The new partnership comes just seven months after First Bus announced their commitment to purchase no diesel buses after 2022 and to operate a fully zero- emission fleet by 2035.
First Bus already plays a leading role in the operation of low or zero-emission vehicles, with electric buses in Leeds, Glasgow, the country’s biggest electric Park&Ride fleet in York and a 99 strong fleet of biomethane buses in Bristol. Last month, the company also introduced the world’s first hydrogen powered double decker fleet in Aberdeen. Arrival unveiled its electric bus last June, creating a new and improved public transportation experience for all users – from the drivers and passengers to the engineers, cleaners and fleet owners – and reducing operating costs for operators, making the transition to electric vehicles more economically viable. The initial trial vehicle configurations will be a combination of familiar requirements and new innovative features, which will be activated throughout the trial and made possible by Arrival’s smart connected hardware and end-to-end fleet management solutions.
The single-deck Arrival Bus features a single front door with a passenger seating capacity of 36 across the entire flat floor, allowing greater accessibility, as well as more usable standing space and ability for passengers to travel more comfortably. It is equipped with up to 310.8 kWh of energy storage capacity with the option of both an AC and DC charge. The Arrival Bus has been developed to not only have common suspension front and rear, but common wheels and tyres – estimating the bus to be up to 40% lighter than other battery-electric buses in the market today.
Arrival’s vertically integrated approach allows it to develop innovation at pace without the constraints of waiting for technology progression in the supply chain. This enables a best-in-class product, with a superior Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) than both fossil fuel and electric vehicles currently on the market.
Janette Bell, Managing Director of First Bus said: “As leaders in sustainable mobility, we’re excited to announce our partnership with Arrival, helping us bring some of the most innovative zero emission vehicles on the market onto the UK’s streets for our customers and partners. We’re proud to be the first operator in the UK to trial Arrival’s electric buses and look forward to working together to accelerate the transition to zero emissions in our sector. Their ground-breaking technology is also expected to allow for improved customer service, and we’re looking forward to seeing how customers react to the new buses when they’re trialled later this year.”
“Today is an important day in the transition to a more sustainable, user focused transportation ecosystem and we are thrilled to be partnering with First Bus on this trial and for people to experience the Arrival Bus on public roads,” said Avinash Rugoobur, President of Arrival. “Cities around the world are pledging their commitment to a zero- emission transportation future and Arrival is providing them with the ideal product to help them achieve that in the Arrival Bus. We are working in partnership with operators and cities globally to support improvements to public transportation networks whilst creating vehicles that can be tailored to local needs.”
The announcement comes in the year UN Climate Change conference COP26 will be hosted in Glasgow.
Arrival is reinventing the automotive industry with its entirely new approach to the design and assembly of electric vehicles. Low CapEx, rapidly scalable Microfactories combined with proprietary in-house developed components, materials and software, enable the production of best in class vehicles competitively priced to fossil fuel variants and with a substantially lower total cost of ownership. This transformative approach provides cities globally with the solutions they need to create sustainable urban environments and exceptional experiences for their citizens. Arrival is a global business founded in 2015 and headquartered in London, UK and Charlotte, USA, with over 1,400 global employees located in offices across Germany, Netherlands, Israel, Russia, and Luxembourg. The company is deploying its first two Microfactories in South Carolina, US and Bicester, UK in 2021.
About First Bus
First Bus is one of the UK’s largest bus operators – and the partner of choice for innovative and sustainable transport. Leading the transition to a low-carbon future, First Bus has committed to operating a zero-emission bus fleet by 2035 and to not purchase any new diesel buses after December 2022. Working proactively with local authority partners, First Bus is proud to be making a positive impact on air quality, tackling congestion and improving customer experience. Making journeys easier for customers, First Bus was the first national bus operator to accept contactless card payments across all services and the First Bus app is voted ‘best in class’ amongst UK bus operators. First Bus is a division of FirstGroup.
First Bus is part of FirstGroup, the leading transport operator in the UK and North America. Through our Mobility Beyond Today strategy, FirstGroup’s ambition is to be the partner of choice for innovative and sustainable transport, accelerating the transition to a zero-carbon world. Recognising that climate change is the greatest long-term challenge of our times, we have committed to accelerate the change in the transport sector through leadership in three priority areas: innovating for our customers, being the partner of choice for low- and zero-emission transport, and supporting our people. Recent developments include the announcement of a collaboration between our North America divisions First Student and First Transit with NextEra, the world’s largest solar and wind energy company, to work on electrifying vehicles for the school and public transportation sectors in the US and Canada.
COP26 presents a vital opportunity for Governments, businesses and the third sector to come together to make a global commitment to achieving net zero. FirstGroup is proud to be the principal bus operator in the city and Scotland; and we provide Anglo-Scottish rail links through Avanti West Coast, TransPennine Express and our new London-Edinburgh open access service which will launch later this year. As well as supporting green transit to and from the summit events, our aim is to demonstrate our leadership on sustainable transport and contribute to the wider conversation on achieving net zero across the global economy. We are proud to have joined the Scottish Business Climate Collaboration, a coalition of leading Scottish businesses with a large employee base, to show climate leadership and demonstrating the key role we collectively play in achieving the country’s net zero target.