Zeelo to make buses as green as riding a bicycle

Published on February 17, 2022

Zeelo – the leading smart bus platform for organisations that serves over 1.8 million passengers per year on their daily commute to work and school in the UK, North America and South Africa – has pledged to provide Net Zero bus travel across its services in just eight years. The company is Europe’s only bus transport service that is already 100% carbon neutral, having offset the entirety of the carbon emissions of its bus journeys, including the dead leg, through a partnership with Climate Partner, which offsets 3.5kg of CO2 emissions per ride (12,000 tonnes per year) by planting trees in Uganda and building wind farms in Bulgaria.

Sam Ryan, CEO of Zeelo and former Head of Product at Addison Lee, who founded car-pooling app JumpIn in 2014, commented: “Offsetting carbon emissions is not enough. We need to commit to switching as many of the buses and coaches across the world to electric vehicles if we want to make a measurable environmental impact as an industry. At Zeelo we want to pave the way by encouraging our partners to be the first to switch to electric.”

Mass Transport is a US$1 trillion industry that contributes to 23% of our global CO2 emissions. Cars, followed by trains, emit the the highest volume of CO2 per kilometre per passenger, and most buses and coaches across the UK operating network emit 1.5x less than trains on average, and are 6x more efficient than cars[1], even though UK bus fleets are largely diesel engine vehicles.

“In the UK, over 15 million people out of a working population of 26 million travel by car to work for journeys of less than 5 miles, which is hardly an efficient, or even affordable, mode of transport for many who live in areas poorly served by public transport,” adds Sam Ryan. “A modal shift alone from driving cars to riding buses already represents a 78% reduction in carbon emissions per traveller per kilometre. This is because an average bus will move 46 people in a single vehicle compared to 30 cars on the road moving on average 1.5 passengers per car. Imagine the carbon savings if all these people had green  bus transport. That’s close to 12 million cars taken off the road with perhaps 200,000 buses. Now imagine if all those buses were electric.”

In the UK there are over 2000 independent coach and bus operators, each with an average of 18 buses in their fleet and a bus utilisation rate of just 35%. This leaves 65% slack and an opportunity to optimise bus utilisation with better designed routes for private customers through existing and experienced family-owned bus operators across the country. Through its Net Zero pledge which forms a key part of Zeelo’s 2022 ESG Policy, the company is offering to guarantee minimum-value, long-term contracts to all its bus operator partners who agree to switch to electric fleets by 2030.

Zeelo’s 100 corporate clients across the world, including Ocado, as well as 5% of the UK’s independent schools, are willing to invest into electric bus fleets as part of their carbon emission reduction targets. Zeelo, meanwhile, is designing The Pathway to EV Bus Transport[2] to ensure the transition follows key milestones across the next eight years, and has pledged to support all bus operators that have signed-up to the pledge to both source and be able to fund the cost of purchasing EVs, and related equipment, within the timeframe.

Zeelo has an asset-light business model, and partners with over 200 family-owned bus operators across the world to deliver private clients (corporates and independent schools) with regular, reliable, optimised, carbon-neutral and Covid-safe bus services for the daily commutes of frontline workers and students. These services were critical during lockdowns and led the company to report a ten-fold increase in revenues from March 2020 through to Feb 2022. Zeelo secured an additional $12 million in VC-backed funding closing its Series A in August 2021.

About Zeelo

Zeelo is a smart bus platform for organisations. The global tech company is modernizing daily bus commutes for frontline workers and students so that they can get to work and school in a faster, smarter, and much greener way. Zeelo serves over 100 large businesses and independent schools and moves nearly 150,000 riders each month across the world. Zeelo’s tech-optimised bus routes not only reduce carbon emissions by 78% by replacing 30 cars for every bus journey, but also offset 100% of each Zeelo bus journey. Its innovative transport management software system comprises a SaaS platform, proprietary routing algorithms and multiple consumer apps that ensure people located in transport deserts have a regular, subsidised bus service for their daily commute wherever they are based. Headquartered in London with over 130 employees across the UK, North America, South Africa and Spain, the company was founded by Sam Ryan, Barney Williams and Dani Ruiz. The cofounders previously sold their pioneering ride-sharing app JumpIn to Addison Lee in 2014.*

[1] Calculation based on CO2 emissions per kilometre, per passenger/traveller.

[2] Project-management framework led by Zeelo to measure and attain incremental transition to EV by its bus & coach operator network partners.

SOURCE Zeelo.co

Source: Press release