Harrogate Bus Company places £21m order for 39 electric buses
Last updated Aug 16, 2023
Driver Brandon Hopper with a Mercedes-Benz E-Citaro bus.

The Harrogate Bus Company has placed orders worth £21 million for 39 new buses and to equip its Starbeck depot to convert its entire Harrogate fleet to fully electric power.

Funding for the bid includes £7.8 million secured by North Yorkshire Council from the government’s zero emission bus regional areas scheme.

Ministers set-up the scheme to help local authorities outside London introduce zero-emission buses.

The Harrogate Bus Company, whose services include the 36 that runs between Ripon, Harrogate and Leeds, is owned by French firm Transdev.

Transdev has already trialled several types of all-electric buses on three routes in and around Harrogate, and on its shuttle route linking Bradford and Keighley.

Transdev orders, which it revealed today, call for:

  • 20 new Mercedes-Benz E-Citaro all-electric single deck buses, to be used on the urban route 1 between Harrogate and Knaresborough, route 7 linking Harrogate, Wetherby and Leeds, and rural route 24 between Harrogate and Pateley Bridge.
  • 19 new Alexander Dennis Enviro 400EV fully electric double deck buses, to relaunch flagship route, The 36 linking Ripon, Harrogate and Leeds. These will be among the first of this new British-built design to enter service.

One of eight current Harrogate Electrics-branded single deck vehicles, seen at Harrogate Bus Station.

Henri Rohard, managing director of Transdev, described the news as “an important evolution in the quality and sustainability of our network in and around our home town of Harrogate”.

Mr Rohard added:

“All our bus fleet will be renewed in the process, giving our Harrogate Bus Company the most modern and passenger oriented network.

“In combination with our existing eight Harrogate Electrics-branded Volvo 7900E electric buses, the first of their kind in Britain, 47 fully-electric vehicles are now expected to be in service in spring 2024.

“Higher power output delivered by today’s new generation batteries means each bus can go further between charge-ups – and to make sure we provide a reliable service, our buses will also have top-up charges at Harrogate Bus Station, as they will travel further in a day than the maximum range achievable by fully electric buses.”

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The Starbeck depot will be upgraded.

Roads minister Richard Holden said:

“It’s fantastic to see Transdev turn its Harrogate fleet to fully electric by ordering 39 new electric buses.

“We’ve awarded £330 million of dedicated funding for zero emission buses in England excluding London, as we continue in our quest to decarbonise transport and reach net zero by 2050.”

Conservative-controlled North Yorkshire Council was among 12 local authorities to submit a successful bid for government funding.

Cllr Keane Duncan, the council’s executive member for highways and transport, said:

“It’s great news for passengers and an important step towards achieving our climate aims.”