First Leeds service 5 Halton Moor

First Bus place landmark Yutong Electric bus order from Pelican Bus and Coach

  • First Bus has placed single largest order of Yutong Electric buses with UK importer Pelican Bus and Coach. 
  • Four new depot sites in Taunton, Weston-super-Mare, Basildon and Hengrove will receive these new EV buses and the relevant charging infrastructure. 
  • Upon completion of all these projects, First Bus will operate more than 800 zero-emission vehicles and boast EV charging infrastructure at 16 depot sites across their UK operation.   

First Bus has placed the single largest order for Yutong electric (EV) buses with their UK importer Pelican Bus and Coach.

The order of 169 electric buses will be delivered to four depots within the next 16 months and represents the next step of the company’s march toward their 2035 goal of a fully Zero Emission bus fleet.

This latest investment will be delivered to the depots in Taunton, Weston-super-Mare, Basildon and Hengrove in Bristol, introducing electric buses for the first time at those sites.

Upon completion of all these projects, First Bus will operate more than 800 zero-emission vehicles and boast EV charging infrastructure at 16 depot sites across their UK operation.  

The order is a mix of single and double decker buses from Yutong in their E10, E12 and U11DD models. First Bus already operate Yutong EVs in their Aberdeen, Leeds and Cymru operations.

The order is part of an £89m investment from First Bus in a further 178 zero-emission buses and infrastructure across four of its regions. In partnership with Local Authorities, additional funding of £16m has been secured through the latest round of the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Zero Emission Bus Regional Area (ZEBRA) scheme.  

This latest round of funding, underpinned by investment from First Bus, part of FirstGroup, allows some of the bus operator’s most rural communities, alongside inter-urban routes, to benefit from state-of-the-art electric buses, improving local air quality and significantly reducing carbon emissions.  

At least 18% of its overall UK bus fleet will be zero-emission at the completion of these projects – a huge step in the company’s pledge to operate a fully zero-emission bus fleet by 2035.  

Andrew Jarvis, Chief Operating Officer for First Bus, said: “We are delighted to place this order with the team at Pelican. This order marks another significant milestone as we invest further in our journey towards a zero-emission bus fleet across our UK operations. 

“We are excited to be able to bring new state-of-the-art vehicles to our customers, who will see the immediate benefit of these transformative projects. We’ve worked tirelessly alongside our Local Authority partners to get to this point with the projects and look forward to getting these vehicles out in service for customers in the months to come.   

"It is an exciting time for our colleagues at all four of these sites as we start to transform and futureproof our depots. This is also great news for our customers, who will see the benefits of these state-of-the-art vehicles – including improved local air quality and the enhanced customer experience that EV’s bring.   

"As leaders in sustainable mobility, we’ll continue to work closely with central and local Government across the UK to support the delivery of our national decarbonisation commitments as we look to encourage more people than ever to choose the bus.” 

Ian Downie, Head of Yutong UK, Pelican said: “We are so proud to work in partnership with First Bus. Our single decks are already in operation with them in Wales as well as in Leeds and Aberdeen, and after trialling our double deck in Sheffield, we are delighted to receive this landmark order. The double deck was found to be as reliable and economical as our market leading single decks.

First Bus will receive these state of the art vehicles which are packed with customer centric benefits, such as full electric air conditioning, USB charge points, enhanced passengers information systems and induction hearing loops.

As a UK, family owned business, our highly skilled workforce will complete the vehicles in Yorkshire. This order is the largest single order we have received to date, and the largest single order for our double deck products. All the vehicles will be delivered within 16 months, so will quickly begin to deliver these transformative projects.

Notes to editors

First Bus will introduce a total of 178 zero-emission buses across the following regions;  

  • Basildon depot in partnership with Essex County Council  
  • Weston-super-Mare depot in partnership with North Somerset Council  
  • Hengrove depot in partnership with West of England Combined Authority (WECA)  
  • Taunton depot in partnership with Somerset Council  

Yutong bus order regional breakdown  


Total Bus  

Of which single deckers  

of which double deckers  





















Pelican Bus & Coach 

Pelican Bus & Coach is the sole UK and Ireland importer and distributor for Yutong Buses and Coaches. It is wholly owned by Pelican Engineering Co. Ltd which was first established in 1919 and is the oldest commercial vehicle dealership business in the UK. Pelican also operates two truck dealerships in Yorkshire. 

Yutong is both the largest Chinese and global manufacturer of medium and large buses and coaches and has been building zero emission vehicles since 1999. There are now over 190,000 zero emission Yutong vehicles operating in 100 different countries around the world which, collectively have completed over 43 billion kms of operation. No other manufacturer of electric buses anywhere in the world can match this level of technical know-how and experience.  

The company is committed to creating more convenient, safe, comfortable and green transport throughout the world. 

Better travel is a vision that is shared by both Pelican and Yutong. 

About First Bus: 

At First Bus, we are on a mission to grow bus usage. We will get behind initiatives that move people out of cars and onto bus.   

We’re one of the UK’s largest bus operators, delivering over a million passenger journeys every week for the communities we serve.   

Transforming our business for the better, we’re putting our people and customers at the heart of all we do.   

We’re all about making journeys easier for our customers, which is why we were the first national bus operator to rollout Tap On, Tap Off payment technology across our entire UK fleet of 4500 buses.  Our First Bus app has also been voted ‘best in class’ amongst UK bus operators.     

First Bus is committed to operating a zero-emission bus fleet by 2035. By the end of Spring 2024, around 15% of our will fleet will comprise of Zero Emission Buses (ZEBs).   

We’re passionate about giving back to the communities we serve, which is why we’re helping local businesses to progress their own decarbonisation journeys with access to our charging hubs while our buses are on the road.  

We also operate the Aircoach network in Ireland, Specialist Passenger Solutions, First Travel Solutions, York Pullman Bus Company and Ensignbus.   

First Bus is a division of FirstGroup.     

Find more information on First Bus here: