August 24 2023

On 19 August 2023, Abellio London Bus was incredibly proud to raise money for charity whilst celebrating the rich heritage of bus travel with the appearance of two buses at the legendary Imberbus.

Imberbus is a yearly celebration, a true spectacle of bus history that sees vintage and modern buses operate a service to the lost village of Imber. In 1943 the Ministry of Defence took over a swathe of Salisbury Plain for war training purposes, this land included the village of Imber. The village itself has remained uninhabited since then, but thanks to Imberbus has a yearly service where celebrated and loved buses run passengers across the Wiltshire plain from Warminster to Imber and a growing number of destinations.

Abellio is very proud to have supported Imberbus since 2016, however, this year saw a first for Abellio and Imber. With the support of EV fleet and battery storage specialist Zenobē, Abellio was able to provide bus 3406, one of the operator's state-of-the-art ADL Enviro 400 EV buses which usually runs on route 63 in London. The bus certainly stood out, in its stunning wrap that celebrates Pride in London.

Thanks to Zenobē’s innovative mobile charging technology, 3406 was able to run a full service in a venue with no power infrastructure. Bus enthusiasts also had the opportunity to explore the bus and EV technology whilst it charged outside Imber Church. 

Zenobē supplied a 100kw second-life battery known as a Powerskid to create a temporary mobile EV charging station to charge Abellio’s ADL Enviro 400 electric bus. The Powerskid, made from refurbished batteries formerly used to power electric vehicles, provided ample charging to the bus without the need for a grid connection.  The innovative pop-up charging solution also demonstrated the potential for electric vehicles to operate where fixed charging infrastructure may not be immediately available.

On the day, 3406 operated a route that took hundreds of excited passengers across a number of the Imberbus stops, including Tilshead, Gore Cross, and Warminster. Interior digital bus signage was updated by Navaho. All Zenobē, Navaho, and Abellio team members volunteered their time and equipment with the event raising over £38,000 for local and national charities.


Alastair Willis, Head of Commercial, Abellio London Bus, said:

’It is always exciting to be at Imberbus. We were delighted to be able to celebrate the future of Bus and EV technology alongside the rich heritage of our industry. Zenobē’s innovative mobile battery technology ensured that everyone at Imber had an unrivalled opportunity to travel on, and learn about EV buses.’


Bradley Fox, Director of Business Development, Zenobē, said:

'Imberbus is a celebration of bus travel, and we were privileged to showcase the very latest in sustainable transport technology by creating a pop-up charging solution for Abellio’s ADL Enviro 400 electric bus. 

The Powerskid is made up of batteries from electric vehicles that have come to the end of their first life, are refurbished, and are given a ‘second life’. We incorporated them into this temporary charging solution for Abellio, allowing them to charge their electric bus without the need for a grid connection or the use of a diesel generator. This charging solution means we have cleaner air and reduced noise pollution, all while demonstrating a real-world example of a circular economy in action'

view of vintage bus from Abellio bus at Imberbus
Digital screens for Imberbus provided by Navaho