Scottish Electric Intercity Bus Operator Secures £11 Million in Funding

Electric bus at charging station

EMBER, the Scottish all-electric intercity bus operator, has today (26th March 2024) announced that it has secured £11 million in Series A funding.

Leading the oversubscribed funding round are investment firms Inven Capital, 2150, and AENU, with participation from existing investors Pale Blue Dot and SkyScanner co-founder Gareth Williams. The infusion of capital is earmarked to accelerate the expansion of its electric bus services and to further develop EmberOS, the platform orchestrating the network and enhancing customer experience.

Founded in Edinburgh in 2020 by Keith Bradbury and Pierce Glennie, Ember aims to tackle the challenge of electrifying intercity coaches, which are among the most heavily-used vehicles on the roads. These buses often cover over 250,000 kilometres annually, surpassing the average mileage of long-distance trucks. The substantial distances travelled and the size of the vehicles result in emissions savings from electrifying each intercity bus outweighing those from other vehicle categories.

Rather than merely providing software to assist traditional operators in transitioning to electric, Ember adopts a comprehensive “full-stack, first-principles” approach. This strategy involves establishing its own dedicated ultra-fast charging network, devising and managing its routes, and collaborating closely with its manufacturing partner on vehicle development. The EmberOS platform coordinates all operations to streamline operations.

Commenting on Ember’s mission and its contribution to addressing transportation challenges, co-founder Keith Bradbury stated, “Travelling by bus or coach doesn’t have to be rubbish. It should be possible to deliver an experience that beats a car – because someone else is doing the driving so you can have your time back – but that requires a relentless focus on the passenger experience.”

Co-founder Pierce Glennie emphasized the complexity of Ember’s solutions, stating, “EmberOS is the digital twin of our network, and we continue to add layers of data that enable the system to always know what’s going on.”

Daniel Edgerley, investment director at Inven Capital, expressed excitement about Ember’s future, praising the founders’ customer-centric and innovative approach to electrification and digitization in transportation.

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