Monday 10 April 2023

Alexander Dennis Repurposes Larbert Factory to Increase Zero-Emission Manufacturing Capability

Alexander Dennis, a subsidiary of NFI Group Inc. has announced plans to expand its Larbert head office and facility into a manufacturing site for the future.

The Larbert site will focus on the production of the new Enviro400EV zero-emission bus from August 2023, assembling the next-generation body on the new Alexander Dennis battery-electric chassis. The decision follows a successful pilot programme to build Enviro400FCEV hydrogen fuel cell buses in Larbert.

The move expands Alexander Dennis’s UK manufacturing footprint from two to three production sites, meeting increasing demand for decarbonisation of public transport. The Larbert expansion, which converts existing warehouse space into production lines, supports the company’s 690+ green manufacturing jobs in Scotland. 

The Enviro400 EV double deck that will be assembled at Larbert is the crowd-shifter, a core member of the next generation of battery-electric buses from Alexander Dennis. The double deck bus has been designed to move large numbers of people on busy urban corridors and interurban expresses with a total capacity of up to 96 passengers and an operational range of up to 260 miles on a single charge.

The Enviro400EV and Enviro100EV, the Alexander Dennis battery system will use heavy-duty, high-density prismatic nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) cells that are less susceptible to cold weather performance degradation and have a more gradual state-of-health decline. 
The Enviro400EV double decker will have 472kWh batteries as standard, with a 354kWh option available to trade range for passenger capacity. On the Enviro100EV midibus, batteries are 236kWh or 354kWh.

The Alexander Dennis head office remains at Larbert and work has already been completed to revamp the site’s office space to equip it for its future as a flexible environment that brings together key business teams and maximises utilisation under the hybrid working arrangements that are now standard across Alexander Dennis. 
The changes in Larbert are part of a company-wide modernisation journey that started with the opening of the new Farnborough facility in 2022 and which will continue in coming years as further members of the next generation of zero-emission buses are added to the Alexander Dennis portfolio.

Alexander Dennis has led the introduction of zero-emission mobility in the UK and Ireland since 2016 with the BYD–Alexander Dennis partnership, with close to 1,500 zero-emission vehicles delivered to date.

Alexander Dennis President & Managing Director Paul Davies said: “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.

 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 decarbonisation of public transport."

ADL unveiled its Enviro400FCEV hydrogen-fuel cell double decker at Euro Bus Expo 2022 in Birmingham as part of its next generation of zero-emission buses

Councillor 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 modernisation 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.”