Bus tie-up sees Glasgow delivery drivers tap into UK’s largest electric vehicle charging hub

First Bus has joined forces with delivery company DPD to carry out more green journeys in Glasgow using the UK’s largest electric vehicle (EV) charging hub.

The move follows on from last year’s COP26 conference in the city, when the bus operator set out its aim to offer local businesses use of the extensive EV charging infrastructure at its Caledonia depot. DPD has become the first company to officially sign up to the scheme. The agreement means that the firm’s delivery drivers will now have access to the site to charge their vehicles while in Glasgow.

Bosses at First Bus said the “green potential” of the firm’s charging hub would be maximised while its own electric fleet is out in service. Located on Glasgow’s southside, the vast Caledonia depot has 160 rapid-charging points, supporting the operator’s ambition to be emission-free by 2035.

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Graeme Macfarlan, commercial director at First Bus, said: “The partnership with DPD reflects the commitment we made during COP26 to help other businesses to achieve their green ambitions. We hope that this marks the first of many valuable partnerships and demonstrates the power that comes from working together to reduce carbon emissions. Electrifying fleets, and having the infrastructure in place to support them, is a mammoth undertaking, and it simply isn’t feasible for each and every business to build its own charging station.

“Reducing carbon emissions is a priority for us – not just to meet our own targets but because we’re committed to delivering cleaner, greener journeys for Glasgow. We’re already in conversation with other businesses and look forward to announcing further partnerships in the near future.”

The bus group said it had worked closely with Hitachi ZeroCarbon to provide the systems that will enable charging commercial vehicles at the site. Originally designed for the buses operating out of the depot, the system could benefit businesses in the local area by providing the availability of DC ultra-rapid charging for commercial electric vehicles.

Olly Craughan, head of sustainability at DPD said: “The Caledonia depot is a fantastic facility and this is a really smart initiative between two brands that are investing in a greener future for Scotland. The partnership will be hugely beneficial as it will enable our drivers to access fast, reliable and secure charging stations in Glasgow during the day. Our plan is to be delivering in both Glasgow and Edinburgh city centres using only electric vehicles by the end of next year, and this is another step towards making that a reality.”

First Bus said it was continuing to expand its zero emission bus fleet and electric vehicle charging infrastructure in Scotland with plans already in place for the electrification of its Scotstoun and Aberdeen depots.

First Bus Scotland commercial director Graeme Macfarlan (L) with DPD staff manager David Scott.First Bus Scotland commercial director Graeme Macfarlan (L) with DPD staff manager David Scott.
First Bus Scotland commercial director Graeme Macfarlan (L) with DPD staff manager David Scott.

Transport minister Jenny Gilruth added: “We all have to work together to end our contribution to climate change, and by making its charging infrastructure available to DPD, First Bus are leading the way. The Scottish Government provided £5.9 million to help deliver the infrastructure at the depot, and I am delighted that it is being used to support decarbonisation of last mile delivery as well as public transport.”



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