Supplementary written evidence submitted by Switch Mobility (BUS0064)


The below document provides supplementary written evidence, intended to add further context and statistics to support the answers given in the oral evidence by Peter Freedman, Chief Marketing and Sustainability Officer at Switch Mobility, to the Transport Select Committee on June 8th, as part of its inquiry, National Bus Strategy: One Year On.


Zero Emission Bus Funding


To further clarify on the funding provided by the Zero Emission Bus Regional Area (ZEBRA) scheme, the scheme provides funding to meet up to 75% of the difference between the price of the electric bus and its diesel equivalent, and up to 75% of the agreed infrastructure costs. This has been an effective tool in incentivising investment in zero emission buses (ZEBs), however, UK manufacturers have experienced some difficulties with the scheme, including:


Phase out of diesel buses


To contextualise the discussion around Switch’s proposed phase-out date for the sale of new diesel buses by 2025, we should consider that the average bus has a 15-year lifespan. This means that, with a phaseout date beyond 2025, ICE buses could remain on the UK’s roads well beyond 2040, which threatens the sector’s ability to reach net zero by 2050.


Crucially, as discussed in the evidence session itself, an ambitious phase-out date for diesel buses would also provide UK manufacturers with certainty over the future state of the market, allowing us to form medium term business plans, and justify further investment in the UK. As a UK manufacturer, based in Leeds, Switch is keen to invest in the UK, providing high quality jobs outside of London and the South East, as are the other major UK manufacturers. Switch is considering plans to invest at least £100 million across the UK economy, including the creation of a new factory, to create 2,000 direct jobs. In order to do so, we require long term certainty of the direction of the market, and an ambitious phase out date for non-zero emission buses can provide this. By being able to invest in our UK manufacturing base, Switch and other UK businesses will be able to take advantage of the rapidly growing global EV bus and LCV market, which is projected to be worth around $50bn by 2030, growing at a CAGR of over 25% - thus bringing further growth and employment back to the UK.


Mobility as a Service


To provide further information on Mobility as a Service (MaaS), and its applicability to the UK bus sector:



June 2022