The zero-emission revolution is at once exhilarating and daunting. With climate change established as a real and present threat, it is exciting to be in an industry making strides in the quest to stabilise our planet. But even as we are embracing the opportunities of new energy sources, we must be wary of unintended consequences that could present an existential threat to parts of our industry, most notably to small- and medium-sized operators. I’m thinking about the role of the humble bus depot, and how we might need to rethink how we approach this most important yet uncelebrated cog in the bus industry wheel.
In the era of the diesel bus, the only property requirement for any operator is to find a patch of land big enough to park the fleet. But zero emission – and especially battery electric – changes all that. You can’t just plug a bus into the mains.