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Council approves £10.5 funding package for zero emissions transport

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A £10.5m plan to drive forward the council’s ambitions for a fleet of zero emission vehicles has been approved.

The funding package, which draws upon the council’s Climate Emergency Capital Fund and other pots of finance from Transport Scotland and Smart Cities Scotland, was agreed at the council’s City Administration Committee.

The investment plan will allow for the purchase of 19 hydrogen refuse collection vehicles, which means that Glasgow will become home to the largest fleet of hydrogen-powered bin lorries in the world.  Transport continues to be a major contributor to carbon emissions in the city and it is hoped that the council’s commitment to hydrogen will lead the way for other fleet operators to go on a similar carbon reduction journey.

But the £10.5m plan will also cover the purchase of the electric mini-buses that operate the Riverside 100 museum service, new electric vehicle charging points, zero emissions support vehicles, battery storage and new management system technology that will improve the efficiency of how vehicles are used.

With over 100 new electric cars already delivered to the council and work to convert up to 20 smaller lorries to dual fuel hydrogen now well underway, this latest investment marks another important step forward in the council’s ambitions to create a fleet of zero emission vehicles by the end of 2029.

George Gillespie, Executive Director for Glasgow City Council, sees the rapid progress on decarbonising the council’s vehicle fleet as a vital part of Glasgow’s push for carbon neutrality by 2030. The shift to using hydrogen for heavier vehicles will also build confidence among other large scale fleet operators that hydrogen power is a viable form of clean energy.

Mr Gillespie said: “We have taken tremendous strides with the implementation of our zero emissions fleet strategy. Glasgow is now very much at the forefront of changes that aim to remove carbon from our transport system. We can see the market responding to the lead that the council is taking and it was always our aim to use the council’s size and status to build confidence that wider change is possible.

“Committing to using hydrogen for our heavier vehicles was always a big breakthrough in our approach to decarbonising our fleet. I am particularly pleased that such significant investment is being made in modernising our cleansing service with the purchase of 19 hydrogen-powered refuse vehicles.  The technology we are introducing into our vehicles will also help make our services as effective and efficient as possible and will ensure we are best placed to meet the challenges of the climate emergency.”

As part of the investment package:

  •  £7m will be allocated from the Climate Emergency Capital Fund to the purchase of 19 refuse vehicles.
  • £2.59m from Smart Cities Scotland will be spent on smart technology that supports management of the fleet, including management of fuel and waste systems.
  • £420,000 from SP Energy Networks for the two electric mini-buses that provide the Riverside 100 service that runs between the city centre and the Riverside Museum.
  • £200,000 from Transport Scotland to purchase batteries that will used to capture power generated by the canopy of solar panels to be installed on the Duke St car park.
  • £290,000 from Transport Scotland for charging points and zero emission fleet transportation.

Full details of the funding package can be found in the paper presented to the City Administration Committee on March 25, 2021.

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