WORK to install electric vehicle chargers at two bus depots in Renfrewshire is now underway.

The new chargers will be installed at McGill's depots in Johnstone and Inchinnan, as well as Dundee, using suppliers Zenobē.

The transport operator said the project will be completed ahead of the delivery of 68 electric vehicles, which are due to arrive in the autumn.

The new infrastructure will see McGill’s operate the largest electric fleet in Scotland as COP26 gets underway in Glasgow in November.

Installation of the chargers got underway this week at an event held at the bus firm's Inchinnan depot.

James Easdale, chairman of McGill’s Group, said: "We firmly believe the new electric fleet will entice more people to leave their car keys at home and switch to the bus. Electric buses bring a new level of passenger experience, including air conditioning and USB charging, coupled with a whisper quiet journey. 

"It’s an exciting time for McGill’s as we continue to invest and grow the business even further."

The Gazette: McGill's owners James and Sandy EasdaleMcGill's owners James and Sandy Easdale

Ralph Roberts, chief executive of McGill’s Group, added: "The introduction of electric vehicles will lead to a huge reduction in CO2 emissions from our operations and McGill’s is excited to be leading the way with the largest electric fleet in Scotland operational by COP26 in November. 

"Transforming our depots to get ready for these new buses is a hugely important part of the jigsaw and we’re delighted to start that process with Zenobē Energy today."

By electrifying their depots using 38 DC chargers, the bus firm will need around 28MWh of energy on an average night to charge the buses in all three sites.

Managing the power will be Zenobē’s market leading software, which allows McGill’s staff take a complete view of all depot’s charging from a single location.

Steven Meersman, a co-founder of Zenobē, said: "We are thrilled to be working with McGill’s, a home-grown company just like Zenobē, embracing the EV bus transition with an ambitious strategy to develop three key depots. This exciting project will help to boost accessibility to sustainable travel in Scotland and support the country’s drive towards net zero.

"The three depots are a shining example of what’s possible when private organisations and government work together towards a common goal and this will lead to tangible benefits for both passengers and the environment."