Alexander Dennis Repurposes Larbert Facility To Increase Zero-Emission Bus Manufacturing Capability

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Alexander Dennis, a division of NFI Group Inc., one of the leading independent bus manufacturers in the world, has announced intentions to convert its current Larbert headquarters located in Scotland into a future manufacturing plant.

From August 2023, the Larbert site will concentrate on producing the new Enviro400EV zero-emission bus, putting the newest body on the most recent battery-electric Alexander Dennis chassis. The choice was made as a result of a successful pilot project to construct Enviro400FCEV hydrogen fuel cell buses in Larbert.

By making the change, Alexander Dennis’s UK manufacturing presence will increase from two to three production facilities, meeting the growing demand for public transportation that is carbon-neutral. The Larbert expansion supports the company’s 690+ green manufacturing jobs in Scotland by converting existing storage space into production lines. The crowd-shifter, a key component of Alexander Dennis’ upcoming line of battery-electric buses, will be constructed on the double-deck Enviro400EV at Larbert. The double-deck bus has a total capacity of up to 96 passengers and an operational range of up to 260 miles on a single charge. It is meant to transport large numbers of people on congested metropolitan corridors and interurban lines.

The office space at the head office, which is still located in Larbert, has already undergone renovations to prepare it for its future as a flexible configuration that brings together key business teams and maximizes utilization under the hybrid working arrangements that are now the norm at Alexander Dennis. The adjustments made in Larbert are a part of a company-wide modernization process that began in 2022 with the opening of the new Farnborough plant and will continue in the years to come as more buses from the upcoming generation of zero-emission buses are introduced to the Alexander Dennis lineup.

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With the BYD-Alexander Dennis partnership, which has spearheaded the introduction of zero-emission mobility in the UK and Ireland since 2016. To date, close to 1,500 zero-emission vehicles have been delivered.

Alexander Dennis President & Managing Director Paul Davies said: “Over the past couple of years we have been laser focused on a modernization agenda, underpinned by significant investment in our people, our products and our facilities. We not only need to future-proof our manufacturing capabilities for the ZEvolution but we also need to ensure that we create the best possible working environment in which our people can excel. This is another step on our Alexander Dennis journey to build a sustainable company for the future, with zero-emission buses being at the core of the repurposed and upgraded Larbert site.”

“This marks another exciting milestone in our progress and development as a business and continues to define the Alexander Dennis zero-emission range as a serious catalyst for change in the UK bus industry.”

Pat Rafferty, Unite Scottish Secretary, said: “Unite warmly welcomes the announcement by Alexander Dennis to manufacture the next-generation Enviro400EV zero-emission buses and for the Larbert site to be upgraded to enable this exciting expansion. It is a great vote of confidence in Alexander Dennis’ world-class workforce and it helps to sustain hundreds of jobs in the local economy. Unite is pleased to play our full role in helping to firmly establish the company as a market leader in the manufacturing of green buses and to assisting with increasing global demand in order to meet the challenges associated with the decarbonization of public transport.”

Councilor Cecil Meiklejohn, Leader of Falkirk Council, said: “Alexander Dennis is a world class leader in bus production and this announcement reinforces their position as a key employer in the Falkirk area. Their modernization and adaptation to changing markets shows how they are at the forefront of their industry, and we are proud to have them based in our area providing employment and investment opportunities in the coming years.”

The word Larbert means “Field of Action” in Scottish Gaellic, which is fitting for what they are doing. It’s good to see that they have to expand their manufacturing to keep up with demand. That means more clean zero-emission buses in cities throughout Europe for public transport and less dirty petrol buses polluting the cities and townships.

Source & photo: Alexander Dennis

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