GLASGOW is set to host the UK's largest Electric Vehicle (EV) charging hub after ambitious £35 million changes are made to a South Side bus depot.

Work has already begun to transform First Bus's Caledonia depot with space to charge up to 300 EV buses on site.

This will provide vital infrastructure to support the introduction of a further 22 electric buses to Glasgow’s streets ahead of the COP26 United Nation’s Climate Change conference in November.

Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport, said: "Through this £35m investment, First Bus continues to demonstrate its commitment to decarbonising its bus fleet, improving air quality and responding to the climate emergency.

“I’m pleased that the Scottish Government has been able to support this infrastructure project, including the purchase of new electric buses, with an additional £28m through two rounds of the Scottish Ultra Low Emission Bus Scheme.

Electric buses

Electric buses

"Working in partnership, including through our Bus Decarbonisation Task Force, we can accelerate the transition to a zero-emission bus fleet and support Scotland’s world leading net zero target."

The first phase of the 18 month project is now underway and is expected to be complete by September.

It will see 11 dual Direct Current (DC) rapid charging units installed, with an additional 69 installed in Phase Two from this summer, increasing the number of chargers on the site to 162.

Following completion, the adapted depot will have the capability to charge 89% of the depot’s electric bus fleet at the same time using smart charging software.

First Bus’ long-term objective is to ensure that the site is fully prepared for the transition to a 100% zero-emission fleet.

Janette Bell, Managing Director for First Bus UK said: "We are making excellent progress on our commitments to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions in our communities.

"By improving the air quality in the areas we operate within, we are supporting the health of our customers, and by cutting carbon emissions we are putting our weight behind Scotland’s ambitious plans for tackling the global threat of climate change.

Michael Matheson

Michael Matheson

"Launching this project at Caledonia depot, the largest of its kind, is a very exciting next step and reinforces that both First Bus and our stakeholders are making continued investment in the future of bus."

Each rapid charging station at the transformed depot will be controlled via smart charging software to ensure that power is used in the most efficient way.

This will minimise the strain on the National Grid at peak times.

First Bus is working with Dutch company Heliox. Michael Colijn, Chief Executive Officer at Heliox Group said: "We are marking a big step in zero-emission public transport with the development of the First Bus Caledonia depot.

"As one of the largest bus operators in the UK, First Bus have chosen Heliox’s market leading rapid, scalable and modular charging system which can handle high demanding bus routes and easily grow with fleets fast charging needs by ensuring power demand is utilised at the most efficient time."