Changes to Scottish Zero Emission Bus Challenge Fund include bus repower

Changes to Scottish Zero Emission Bus Challenge Fund include bus repower


Bus repower company Kleanbus has welcomed changes to the Scottish Zero Emissions Bus Challenge Fund (ScotZEB), set to include funding that could further reduce the purchase price of a bus repowered with an electric drivetrain.

Designed to accelerate the transition to zero emission buses in Scotland, ScotZEB is a Scottish Government scheme which has recently seen £62 million awarded to nine bus operators and local authorities for 276 buses. ScotZEB Phase 2 eligibility criteria is expanding to include companies offering repowering, where a diesel bus engine is replaced with a fully electric drivetrain.

Potentially incentivising the price of a repowered bus, the funding could enable fleets to make the switch to an electric bus even more cost-effectively. ScotZEB Phase 2 will open for bids in spring 2023.

“Kleanbus welcomes the inclusion of repower technology companies in ScotZEB Phase 2. Replacing diesel buses with new electric buses is very expensive for private companies,” said Joe Tighe, Co-Founder and CEO of Kleanbus.

Electric repowered buses from Kleanbus already cost one fifth of a new electric bus. However, Kleanbus’ partnerships with finance providers mean that operators can choose several ways in which to finance their vehicle, ranging from paying for the vehicle upfront and leasing the battery, to paying nothing upfront and leasing both the vehicle and the battery.

“Repowers offer a fast and efficient way towards zero-emissions, making buses cleaner, quieter, more comfortable, and more valuable assets for operators. Kleanbus’ advanced solution can accelerate that changeover thanks to the company’s unique technology,” Tighe continued.

To do so, the company strips out the diesel engine and replaces it with an electric one, a complex process, bespoke-designed for each vehicle model. This involves various consideration, including the engine, transmission, steering, braking, electrical and other auxiliary systems and even the aesthetics and functionality within the driver’s cab and the passenger area.

While Kleanbus also refreshes the dashboard with modern technology, vehicle chassis and body modifications are kept to a minimum since each retrofit is purposefully engineered to fit the former diesel engine space.

In this way, operators can fund the cost of the repower through operating revenue. Kleanbus works closely with EV charging technology providers to ensure depots are upgraded with appropriate charging technology, enabling them to transform a diesel bus transportation system into an optimised clean electric vehicle ecosystem.