Jo Bamford, green pioneer and owner of Ballymena bus manufacturer Wrightbus, has launched a unique asset finance company to get more zero-emission buses on the roads in a bid to help the UK & Ireland reach its net zero targets.
Green pioneer and Wrightbus owner Jo Bamford launched FUZE, a unique asset finance company offering the complete solution for the funding of zero-emission buses. Heralding the industry as being “on the cusp of vital change”, FUZE will offer a turnkey solution to help operators get more buses on the roads in the race to net zero.
Following the company’s successful launch of its market-leading battery electric bus, the Electroliner, at ITT Hub, Mr. Bamford said it was the perfect time to provide a complete financial solution across the entire zero-emission ecosystem.
Wrightbus, which celebrates its 75th birthday this year, was the first manufacturer in the world to have hydrogen and battery-electric vehicles in production, with buses running all across the UK & Ireland.
Operating exclusively within the zero emission PCV sector, FUZE will design, deliver and finance the seamless transition to a zero-emission fleet by offering funding on the vehicles, infrastructure, fuel – either hydrogen or electric – and a repair and maintenance package.
The company is headed up by Ben Werth, who joins from Mistral Group Limited where he was Group Sales Director with responsibility for the entire asset finance portfolio. Mr Werth, who has 26 years’ experience in the bus industry, said: “Jo and everyone who works at Wrightbus know that government grants alone are not enough for bus operators to meet their own publicly stated zero emission targets.
“There are many moving parts within the transition to net zero. To achieve this a collaborative partnership approach between manufacturers, funders and bus operators is required. FUZE, by being a specialised zero-emission focused asset finance company, is an integral part of this process. The industry is on the cusp of vital change and when the chance came to be part of this, I knew I couldn’t turn down such an opportunity.”
Mr Werth said FUZE would make life easier for operators by distilling every part of the bus operational costs into a fixed monthly cost. “Working in collaboration with sister companies RYZE hydrogen and Wrightbus we have developed a total cost of ownership model encompassing the infrastructure, vehicle, fuel and R & M fleet maintenance for the duration of the contract and then distilling this down into a single fixed monthly cost,” he said.
“This is available across the entire Wrightbus range of FCEV and BEV buses, single or double deck, over varying lengths of contracts dependent on the operators’ requirements. This is a unique offer within the public transport sector and is supported by an industry-changing telematics system in WB Uptime 365.”
WB Uptime 365 gives the operator real-time information and a 24-hour overview of the vehicle’s performance and uses AI to allow for predictive rather than reactive maintenance. “The predictive nature of WB Uptime 365 enables FUZE to offer as part of its complete funding package R & M for the duration of the agreement,” he continued.
“Combining all these costs together is unique within our sector – it really is as exciting as asset finance can get.”