Diamond Bus planning to invest in new zero-emission buses

Diamond Bus’ parent company Rotala Plc recently announced it is planning to invest in zero-emission vehicles for the West Midlands if it is successful in bidding for ZEBRA funding from the UK government.

Rotala Limited, the parent company of Diamond Bus, has plans to make huge strides over the next 12 months towards reducing the carbon footprint of our operations, through a combination of business investment and with assistance of Government funding though the ZEBRA2 Scheme.

ZEBRA2 is a £129m government scheme to fund Zero Emission buses across the UK as part of their Bus Back Better Strategy. Through working in close partnership with several local councils, Rotala and the Local Transport Authorities have applied for a number of Zebra funding awards which will enable the business to deliver some great benefits to communities up and down the country.

The award of these funding opportunities would enable Rotala to invest in brand new vehicles across our group businesses including:

  • 14 new Electric Vehicles for Diamond Bus in the West Midlands operating on services 4H & 45
  • 10 new Electric Vehicles for Preston Bus in Lancashire, for services 19 & 100
  • 6 new Electric Vehicles for Diamond East Midlands services 8 & 9 across Staffordshire and into south Derbyshire.

It is anticipated that the introduction of EV buses on these routes would contribute to a carbon saving of 8,692 tonnes CO2e in just the Staffordshire county alone.

Subject to funding, Rotala would also plan to directly finance the acquisition of additional brand new vehicles including, Approximately 15 Euro 6 Low emission certified ‘mini’ buses for the Midlands region, which have been identified through previous operations to be beneficial when operating on urban, Demand Responsive and lower volume routes. 

“Rotala plans significant investment in carbon reduction technologies” – Diamond Bus, 18th March 2024

“By making bus services a much more desirable alternative to the car, we can achieve the much-needed modal shift that our towns and cities need to meet carbon reduction targets and reduce congestion on our roads today. The award of government funding would mean that as a business, we could forge ahead with our key goals of bringing cleaner and greener bus services to the local communities we serve.”

Simon Dunn, CEO Rotala Ltd
Diamond’s 30922, an electric ‘retrofitted’ MAN Plaxton Centro (Photo copyright Tony Hunter 2021)

While Diamond have previously ‘experimented’ with retro-fitting 5 older MAN Plaxton Centro buses with electric drivetrains, this will be their first investment in brand-new zero emission vehicles.

And while 14 buses in total isn’t a great number, out of a West Midlands fleet of over 200 vehicles, it can be seen as a promising start, and I’m sure they would be welcomed by passengers on their 4 / 4H and 45 services.


About WMBU

Stu is the founder of this West Midlands Bus Users website.
He is not a bus enthusiast, but as a regular passenger takes an interest in public transport related matters, having relied on buses to get around for over twenty-five years now.

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