First Solent EV by Spinnaker Tower

First electric buses hit the road in Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport

  • The first of Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport’s new electric buses are in service from today
  • £28.6m project with First Bus South, Portsmouth City Council and Hampshire County Council
  • By Summer all 62 electric buses will be in service

The first new electric buses from First Bus South, operator of First Bus Solent, have entered service in Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport, ushering in the region’s first zero-emissions buses. 

They are the first of 62 buses which will be rolled over the coming weeks for passengers on routes including:

  • 1 Gunwharf - Southsea
  • 3 Fareham - Southsea
  • 9/9A Fareham - Gosport
  • X4 The Hard - Fareham - Southampton
  • X5 Gosport - Fareham - Southampton
  • The Eclipse rapid transit bus from Fareham - Gosport for the ferry connection to Portsmouth

WATCH: First electric bus leaves Fareham Bus Station

The state-of-the-art, British made zero emission buses from manufacturer Wrightbus, mean cleaner air and quieter streets for local people. Offering a smoother, more comfortable ride, on board they are fitted with features including USB charging points, on screen and audio announcements, and the latest in accessibility design. 

The £28.6m project to bring electric buses to the Solent region is due to a partnership with Portsmouth City Council and Hampshire County Council which secured £12.7m from government ZEBRA funding* along with a £15.9m investment from First Bus South, the operator of bus services in the Solent region. 

The introduction of the new electric vehicles (EVs) will mean that when all 62 buses are in service by the Summer, nearly half of the total fleet (42%) operated by First Bus Solent will be electric.  

First Solent EV by Spinnaker Tower

The First Bus Solent team with Spinnaker Tower lit up green to celebrate the buses' arrival

The area where these new electric buses will be operating includes two Clean Air Zones (CAZ), so the arrival of the fleet will support both the environment and public health - helping to improve air quality, cut pollution and reduce carbon emissions.  

The buses will operate from First Bus Solent’s Hoeford depot in Fareham, where works are taking place to support the infrastructure for charging and operation of the new electric fleet.  

Simon Goff, First Bus South’s Managing Director, said: So much hard work and planning has gone into getting us to this point and I’m so excited to see the first EV buses go out onto the roads to serve customers in Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport.

“These vehicles offer significant environmental benefits as they emit zero tailpipe emissions, which means better air quality for local people. What’s fantastic is that they’ll also improve the journey experience for our customers, providing a smoother, more comfortable ride. We hope that our passengers are as pleased with them as we are.”

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO at Wrightbus, added: “We are delighted to be supporting First Bus South in the drive to transform transport in the region and help build a more sustainable future.First Bus South, like us, is at the forefront of new and exciting technology, and our partnership enhances the reputation we have forged in playing an important part in the UK’s ambitions for decarbonisation.

“We have great ambitions both in the UK and across Europe to have many more of our buses on the roads in the future.

“All of our buses have been built in Ballymena in Northern Ireland, lending further support to the wider regional economy and allowing us to create green jobs as we continue in our growth.”-


Notes to editors 

*Funding was secured by the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Zero Emission Bus Regional Area (ZEBRA) government funding

Useful electric bus information

  • Buses will be charged from Hoeford depot in Fareham, the depot will have 66 electric charge heads in total (33 base units with a 2 charge points on each)
  • The buses have rapid charging times of just 2.5 hours.
  • Each single decker bus costs £350,000
  • The GB Kite Electroliner BEV releases zero emissions, meaning improved air quality in cities.
  • The Wrightbus Electroliner buses are British made in Ballymena, Northern Ireland. They contain 98% UK/EU sourced components and suppliers in 47 counties are involved.