Can EVs use bus lanes?

The short answer is no, although such schemes have been trialled. For the most part, the rules for driving an electric vehicle are the same as for vehicles with an internal combustion engine (ICE).


There have been trials of allowing electric vehicles to access bus lanes, run for specified periods in particular UK regions, including Nottingham and Cambridgeshire. The Nottingham trial took place in 2018 and permitted owners of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs) to use bus lanes. This permission excluded hybrid EVs.

The trial was launched to incentivise the purchase of electric vehicles and thereby support government legislation to ban petrol and diesel cars from 2030. However, the scheme was abandoned following complaints from cyclists that the presence of these cars negatively impacted their safety. A similar Cambridgeshire trial ran in 2020-21 but has not so far been extended for similar reasons.

What are the key watch outs for EV drivers when it comes to bus lanes?

  • Avoid driving in bus lanes as it’s unlikely you are permitted to be there.
  • Check your local council to see if trials are taking place in your area.