Companies expand EV charging partnership to Aberdeen

Graeme Macfarlan and Robert Thorburn

FIRST Bus has announced it is growing its biggest electric vehicle partnership to date with the UK’s largest broadband network provider, Openreach, helping them carry out cleaner, greener journeys in Aberdeen.

Openreach are one of the first businesses in Aberdeen to plug into this innovative shared infrastructure initiative from one of the UK’s largest bus operators.

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The initial phase of the partnership will witness Openreach electric vehicles from its fleet charging at the First Bus depot on King Street while buses are in service. This enables Openreach engineers to cover more ground, reduce their environmental impact, and dedicate more time to the needs of their customers.

As industry leader in the decarbonisation space, First Bus is keen to harness its EV infrastructure to help support local communities and businesses reach their own environmental aspirations. This commitment aligns with the bus operator’s own ambition of reaching a zero-emission bus fleet by 2035.

Graeme Macfarlan, Commercial Director for First Bus Scotland, said: “We are delighted to be extending this partnership with Openreach to Aberdeen so quickly after its launch earlier this year, demonstrating the power that comes from working together to reduce carbon emissions and improve the air quality in the communities we serve.

“As businesses across Scotland embark on the journey to electrify their fleets, it simply isn’t practical for every business to build its own charging infrastructure. We understand these challenges and are providing a smart solution that benefits the community and optimises space. It’s simple and effective – and everyone wins!

“At First Bus, we are committed to delivering cleaner, greener journeys across our UK networks, not only through our own fleet but by working in partnership with businesses such as Openreach. We’d love to attract more businesses to charge up using our kit whilst our buses are out on the road.”

Currently Openreach has more than 3,000 electric vehicles in its fleet – but it is aiming to convert all its diesel fleet to zero emissions by 2031 and proudly stands as a founding member of EV100, a global initiative uniting companies dedicated to accelerating the transition to electric vehicles this decade.

Robert Thorburn, Openreach Scotland’s Partnership Director, said: “We’re thrilled to expand our exciting partnership with First Bus to Aberdeen. It means our local engineers can quickly charge our growing fleet of electric vehicles when they’re serving customers and building our full fibre network at pace.

“First Bus has made a massive investment in charging infrastructure and using their facilities optimises the charging capabilities for both our electric vans and their buses. Our engineers often live in flats or apartments where charging isn’t yet an option, so it makes the transition to electric easier for them too.

“It’s great to be working with First Bus to help drive this essential change.”

Located on Aberdeen’s King Street, First Bus’s depot has 16 state-of-the art, rapid-charging points, and this arrangement means the green potential of First Bus’s charging hub will be maximised while its own electric fleet is out in service.

First Bus is interested in hearing from businesses who wish to benefit from this partnership across its Glasgow Caledonia, Scotstoun and Aberdeen sites.

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