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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Oxford continues to charge toward net zero with fully electric buses built in Ballymena

Zero-emission streetdeck electroliner buses manufactured by Ballymena-based Wrightbus

Zero-emission electric buses manufactured by Ballymena-based Wrightbus have been launched in Oxford.

The fleet of 21 StreetDeck Electroliners - the world's most efficient double deck battery-electric bus - has been launched as part of the city’s ambitious drive to achieve net zero by 2040.

The vehicles have been branded in partnership with Oxford Brookes University and were unveiled at the University’s Headington Campus.

Zero-emission streetdeck electroliner buses manufactured by Ballymena-based Wrightbus

The new BROOKESbus fleet, which is owned and run by Oxford Bus Company, will replace the existing fleet of diesel buses and will prevent up to an estimated 850 tonnes of CO2 emissions being released into Oxford per year. On a full charge of power, they can travel up to 300 miles.

It’s Oxford’s first ever electric bus service and the vehicles are expected to be in service by the end of the year. They will benefit not only students and staff, but the local community and visitors to the city.

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Wrightbus, said:

“We are delighted to be working with Oxford Brookes and the Oxford Bus Company in their commitment to offering zero-emission public transport in the city and can’t wait to see even more of our buses in operation.

“Wrightbus’s ambition is to reduce the environmental impact of public transport ​​and we continue to invest in ground-breaking technology as a driver to developing cleaner, more efficient transport solutions.

Zero-emission streetdeck electroliner buses manufactured by Ballymena-based Wrightbus

“We are the only manufacturer in Europe to offer a complete suite of zero-emission buses, with both battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell single and double decks.

“These have a vital role to play in decarbonising public transport and in enabling operators, local authorities and governments to meet their carbon reduction targets.”

All of the energy used to charge the buses will be from renewable sources, and a full charge of a bus will take approximately three and a half hours. As electric buses are much quieter than diesel buses, the new buses will emit an artificial sound while travelling at low speeds for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.

Speaking at the launch event, Professor Alistair Fitt, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes, said:

“The launch of these new, fully electric BROOKESbuses is an important step towards our ambition of delivering net zero by 2040, something we know is very important to our students, staff and wider community. We are also very proud that these new buses will be charged from renewable sources.

“We recognise the critical role that the BROOKESbus service plays for students, staff and the city’s community and visitors. In 2022, for instance, we amalgamated the service with some of Oxford’s local Park and Ride Services and provided a much-needed bus route from Blackbird Leys to the University.

“We know the impact of the cost of living on students’ lives. That is why I am particularly excited that this new cleaner bus service offers free journeys for the vast majority of our students.”

Luke Marion, Managing Director of Oxford Bus Company, said:

“It’s fantastic to see the first BROOKESbus branded electric vehicles arrive as part of our exciting journey towards delivering an all-electric fleet of city buses. 

“Oxford Brookes University is equally committed to using innovation to enhance sustainability and we’re proud to deliver this milestone for our community via our long-standing partnership.

“Our investment in net zero vehicles and the associated infrastructure will further help improve air quality and make bus travel an even more sustainable option for Brookes students, staff, and the wider public to travel around Oxford.”


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