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Work begins on UK’s biggest EV charging hub

Work has begun on an ambitious new project to transform a Glasgow bus depot into the UK’s largest electric vehicle (EV) charging hub.

Transport operator First Bus expects to complete the transformation of its Glasgow Caledonia bus depot by summer 2022, with the first phase of works to be complete by September this year.

Already the UK’s largest bus depot, the Caledonia depot will have space to charge up to 300 EV buses on site.

The first phase of the project will see 11 dual 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.

Over the coming months, First Bus will take delivery of 22 ADL/BYD EV buses from Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) in Falkirk, with a further 126 buses delivered and in service over 2021 and 2022, with the order complete by spring 2023.

This transformation is being supported by £35.6m in part funded by £28.2m from the Scottish government’s Scottish Ultra Low Bus Scheme (SULEB).

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

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, and to minimise the draw down from the national grid at peak times.

The digital programming will also mean that each vehicle is fully charged, and the interior is preheated, ready for drivers and customers from the moment they leave the depot.