Electric mini buses help drive climate action

The drive to reduce carbon emissions and clean up the air continues as Oxfordshire County Council takes delivery of three new electric buses.

As the largest council in Oxfordshire, the county council has already taken a strong lead and committed to being carbon neutral by 2030. Achieving that aim will benefit the county’s thriving communities and mean radically changing the way some things are done.

The new 100% electric minibuses can travel up to 100 miles on a single charge and spend the morning and evenings taking children to and from school and the rest of the time they are used as part of the not-for-profit Oxfordshire Comet service.

The are part of a strategy that will see the council replacing as much of its vehicles fleet with zero exhaust emission alternatives as possible. The county council’s Fire and Rescue Service and car pool has also taken delivery of electric alternatives in recent months.

County Councillor Yvonne Constance, Cabinet member for the Environment, said: “It’s brilliant to see more electric vehicles joining the ever-growing zero-exhaust-emission county council fleet.

“These are special vehicles and have been adapted so that people can travel on them regardless of whether they have mobility problems or a disability.

“Our hope is that the mini-buses will be cheaper to run as well as being far better for the environment. We will be looking closely at how they perform but, at this early stage, the feedback from our drivers and passengers is that they are doing well.”

Along with the commitment to being carbon neutral the county council has also signalled its dedication through high-profile sustainable energy projects like Local Energy Oxfordshire, the V2GO charging initiative as well as seeking to reduce the number of miles its staff travel for things like meetings by encouraging flexible working and greater use of virtual meeting technology.

Oxford could also be the first place in the country to be using a fleet of public-transport electric buses after a partnership of Oxfordshire County Council, Oxford City Council, Stagecoach, Oxford Bus Company and Arriva announced it is submitting a funding bid to be Britain’s first all-electric bus city.