The SNP Government has launched the first £50 million phase of a new Scottish Zero Emission Bus Challenge Fund (ScotZEB).
The Fund replaces previous funding streams and is designed to encourage the market to agree and implement new and innovative ways to finance zero emission buses.
Building on the success of the Scottish Ultra Low Emission Bus Scheme, ScotZEB will now support Scotland’s green recovery, providing immediate economic stimulus and supporting the SNP Government’s bold ambitions to decarbonise the bus fleet.
ScotZEB was launched by Transport Minister Graeme Dey MSP at the Bus Decarbonisation Taskforce, which brings together senior leaders from the energy, bus and finance sectors to co-design a pathway to a fully decarbonised bus fleet. He said:
“To accelerate progress towards a zero emission bus fleet, we committed to convene a meeting of the Bus Decarbonisation Taskforce within our first 100 days.
“The SNP Government has come to the table with an evolved offer for zero emission bus funding – building on the experience of previous schemes and designed in a way that maximises opportunities to attract sustainable financing and encourage innovative ways of doing so.
“£50 million is available in 2021 to help drive a green recovery, responding to the global climate emergency and to improve air quality. I’m excited to see results from the ScotZEB Challenge Fund and expect to offer a larger pot of funding in 2022 once it demonstrates its success.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“To have £50 million available for this year is a great commitment and I am pleased to see that concrete action has already been taken in line with the SNP manifesto and the First 100 Days plan.
“During these first 100 days, the SNP is also introducing the legal changes to extend free bus travel to everyone under 22 years old.
“If we want to facilitate and encourage sustainable travel, these incentives are effective and important.”
More information on how Transport Scotland is working to accelerate the decarbonisation of transport is available on the Mission Zero page.
The Scottish Zero Emission Bus Challenge Fund (ScotZEB) will award grants for the acquisition of zero emission buses running registered bus services in Scotland. Individual companies, operators or partnerships of organisations will be able bid to the fund for support towards the capital cost of zero emission buses and infrastructure.
Detailed guidance and application forms will be made available here by the end of July 2021.