New partnership to accelerate transition of zero-emission buses with £100m investment - CILT(UK)
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New partnership to accelerate transition of zero-emission buses with £100m investment

10 April 2024/Categories: Industry News, Active Travel & Travel Planning, Bus & Coach, Logistics & Supply Chain, Transport Planning, Net-Zero

Rock Rail, the UK Infrastructure bank, HSBC UK and Aviva Capital Partners, have formed a new partnership providing funding for zero emissions bus financier ‘Rock Road.’  

The partnership has committed to an initial £100 million to fund up to 250 zero emission busses and associated infrastructure. 

Owned by Rock Rail and Aviva, Rock Road is said to offer a finance solution for UK bus operators and public transport authorities to decarbonise their fleet, while minimising capital outlay and outsourcing key ownership risks around residual value and battery replacement.

Charlotte Jones, Chief Financial Officer at Aviva, said: “This investment will make it easier for transport authorities to decarbonise their networks whilst continuing to provide a valuable public service.”

The system is aimed at uniting experienced organisations with strong alignments of investment principles.

Mark Swindell, CEO of Rock Rail, said: “Since entering the UK rolling stock market in 2016, Rock has delivered over £3.5bn of investment in new trains and we see a similar scale of opportunity in the zero-emission bus market.”

A scalable funding model is being established to accelerate fleet decarbonisation, crowd in further private capital and in turn, reduce the reliance on public money to fuel the transition.

The first deal has been signed by The Go-Ahead Group for the lease of 60 battery-electric buses that will be deployed on routes throughout London.

The UK Infrastructure Bank highlighted zero emission buses as a significant investment sector for net zero in a recent strategic update.

John Flint, CEO of UK Infrastructure Bank, said: “The vast majority of the UK's 36,500 buses are still diesel powered and so replacing these with a cleaner, greener alternative will be key in decarbonising the transport sector and achieving UK net zero targets. This will require a massive scale up of investment.”

“The Bank’s financing has been crucial in helping to bring the innovative Rock Road leasing scheme to the market, which will reduce cost for operators and help improve the uptake of zero emission buses across the UK,” he added. 

The Bank is providing £50m debt financing to the platform in line with its twin mission to tackle climate change and boost regional growth.

HSBC UK is also providing debt finance which will further support the development of the Rock Road partnership.


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