As public transport operators around the UK introduce more and more electric buses, the need for extra charging infrastructure has grown.

The past few months have seen a series of major projects nationwide as energy companies deliver the necessary infrastructure to support operators in their decarbonization goals and improve local air quality.

For example, work to electrify Oldham’s bus depot, which started last November, has now been completed to enable charging for a new fleet of modern zero-emission buses in Greater Manchester’s Bee Network.

A total of 17 Heliox Flex 180 kW (kilowatt) chargers have been installed, capable of dynamically charging 51 vehicles simultaneously in two and a half hours, giving a range of up to 160 miles (257km) on a full charge.

First Bus worked with its decarbonization partners, Magnus Construction to carry out the installation and Heliox to supply the charging equipment.

A new substation along with other high-voltage equipment supply the power required, which is cabled to the charging points via overhead gantries, along with safety bollards, lining, and signing to provide designated charging bays.

New electric buses will operate on three routes around Oldham to replace previous older diesel vehicles.

It is the latest step in upgrading depots and transitioning to an electric bus fleet and follows successful electrification of a depot in Bolton ahead of the launch of the Bee Network there last September.

“First Bus has extensive experience in the transformation of depots to electric from our program at sites across the UK.” – Zoe Hands, Managing Director of First Bus in Manchester

“We have brought this knowledge and expertise to Oldham to manage the conversion alongside the continued operation of the depot to serve local communities and the wider region of Greater Manchester.”