FirstGroup and Hitachi JV to purchase 1,000 ebuses23 November 2023

FirstGroup  Hitachi electric buses

A new FirstGroup and Hitachi joint venture (JV) called NextGen AssetCo is to purchase up to 1,000 electric buses valued at £100 million.

The partnership is part of FirstGroup’s bus fleet and infrastructure decarbonisation programme.

As part of the deal, the batteries will be leased from NextGen to First Bus over an initial eight-year period, with the potential to extend the lease by a further two years at zero cost, depending on battery capacity.

The group will also retain 75% of the residual value of the batteries at the end of its bus useful life, with second life value opportunities given that the majority of the battery’s capacity remains.

Another key term of the partnership includes the provision of Battery and Charging Management Services (BCMS) by Hitachi ZeroCarbon for 1,000 buses powered by the new batteries as well as a further commitment of 500 vehicles beyond 2026.

In addition, the BCMS services will ensure efficient energy utilisation, maximise battery health and residual value and potentially extend battery bus useful life for a further two years beyond the OEM warranty period.

Transport Engineer

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