Go-Ahead rolls out UK’s first geo-location zero-emission buses

  • Next generation electric buses will operate in a zero-emission mode when in Brighton’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone, using geofencing technology[1]
  • Buses run on battery power and have a fully electric drive train, recharged by Euro 6 diesel generator when outside the Zone
  • These extended range buses will run on one of Go-Ahead’s most popular routes in Brighton, served by up to 24 buses every hour
  • Brighton & Hove Buses has the highest number of bus journeys per head [2]outside of London at 67.5 million journeys last year

 The Go-Ahead Group yesterday launched the first vehicles in a new generation of electric buses, which will use the latest technology to cut emissions in key parts of Brighton.

Go-Ahead, which is the largest operator of electric buses in the UK, will introduce 30 of the new buses in Brighton as part of a £10m investment in green transport.

Enviro 400 i360 1.jpegThese unique buses are fully electric – an electric motor drives the bus at all times – but they use a small Euro 6 diesel generator to recharge the battery, which is additionally fuelled by regenerative braking.

The buses will deactivate the generator and switch to a zero emissions mode when entering Brighton and Hove’s Ultra Low Emission Zone, in the city centre. Nearly 98% of bus movements in Brighton pass through the zone, meaning the benefits of cleaner buses will be extended throughout the city[3].

The ability to use a generator outside of the ULEZ area means the buses can cover longer distances and manage steeper gradients than a traditional electric bus. It also eliminates the city’s need to invest in expensive charging infrastructure.

This technology means the new service will use fuel very efficiently, reducing the emissions that contribute to climate change and improving air quality by cutting harmful NOx emissions, a combination of nitrogen monoxide and nitrogen dioxide formed during fuel combustion.

Go-Ahead chief executive David Brown said: “Go-Ahead is proud to be leading the way on clean transport, and this innovation moves us closer to our goal of operating a zero-emissions fleet nationwide by 2035.

“A double decker bus can take as many as 75 cars off the roads in our cities and towns, so when it comes to improving the air quality in our cities, buses are a vital part of the solution when it comes to addressing congestion and air quality, especially virtually zero emission vehicles like these.”

Brighton & Hove Buses’ managing director Martin Harris said: “We wanted these buses to reflect the city and the communities they serve. It’s a tribute to Brighton life and to the people who live here. 
“These new buses are an important part of our commitment to making Brighton & Hove a clean air city with zero emissions by 2030.” 

The new buses are the latest innovation in sustainable transport from Go-Ahead. Last year, the operator launched an air filtering bus in Southampton which actively cleans the air while it travels through the city.

Go-Ahead is also the operator of the UK’s largest all-electric bus garage in Waterloo, London.


For more information please contact:

Mark Sands



07979 904 401


Go-Ahead press office


020 7799 8978


Notes to editors

  • Brighton and Hove’s ULEZ area specifically targets streets where nitrogen dioxide (NO2) has remained above European and English legal limits.
  • An electric vehicle is driven from the electrical energy stored in the battery. Traditional electric vehicles replenish the energy stored in the battery via an overnight charge, most commonly through a connection to the electrical grid. The unique aspect of these vehicles is that the battery on them is replenished via a small on-board diesel generator. This negates the need to connect them to the grid overnight to replenish the battery charge.
  • This provides two key advantages –
    • The diesel generator can be switched off based on the vehicle’s location and therefore they operate in fully zero emission mode
    • Due to the on-board generator to replenish the batteries the vehicle can be fuelled in the traditional way and there is no need for an expensive in depot overnight charging infrastructure

[1] These buses have been set to run in zero-emission zone in the ULEZ

[2] Journeys per head are 171 per year

[3] https://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/parking-and-travel/travel-transport-and-road-safety/low-emission-zone