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Friday, 25 September 2015

Lothian Buses to order hybrid buses

Lothian Buses, a publicly owned Bus operator from Edinburgh, is to order new hybrid buses from the manufacturer, Volvo.

From Lothian Buses press release

“New environmentally-friendly engine technology is set to be introduced to the Lothian Buses fleet in partnership with Volvo in 2017.


The move would see the bus company provide the first fully commercial service with 25 new hybrid-electric vehicles, which are currently being trialled in various European cities by the Swedish manufacturer.
                                                                                                                    
It is expected that the buses will reduce carbon emissions by up to 75% and diesel consumption by 40% compared with the current fleet.

The announcement comes as Volvo begins a tour with a concept vehicle, which will also be on public show at Lothian Buses’ Doors Open Day this weekend.

Bill Devlin, Engineering Director said:
This really is the next logical step in creating more environmentally-friendly travel options for our passengers. We’re at an advanced stage in our discussions with Volvo and are very excited about the prospect of bringing this technology to Edinburgh’s roads.

As one of the UK's leading bus operators, we are planning ahead to ensure we meet, and exceed, emissions targets set by the Government.  It's important to our customers and us, as a company, that we are committed to reducing the impact of our services on the city as much as possible.

Derek McKay MP, Minister for Transport and the Islands said:
Lothian Buses have shown consistent commitment to improving the environment performance of their fleet in parallel with delivering real benefits for passengers and I’m pleased that we have been able to support them along the way through our Scottish Green Bus Fund.

As technologies in this area continue to develop, I’m delighted to have this opportunity to see how innovative bus manufacturers and operators can work together to deliver further step changes in terms of greener, high quality public transport options.

It's interesting how Lothian Buses are increasing their hybrid bus fleet with support from the Scottish Green Bus Fund.

The problem is that diesel-electric hybrid buses still emit diesel fumes, hence the reason zero emission buses are very expensive.

Currently, Lothian Buses have 85 hybrid buses operating on several routes throughout Edinburgh and the Lothians. Their hybrid fleet consists of 15 Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 double deck buses, 50 Volvo 7900H single deck buses and 20 Volvo B5LH double deck buses.

Take the example of Go Ahead London, their routes 507 & 521 (known as Red Arrow routes) contract requires Single deck Electric buses. The cost for the electric buses is £19 million for 51 BYD e-Buses with the Alexander Dennis Enviro200 MMC body. I have previously written an article on this which you can see here.

Also, with Lothian Buses their new double deck fleet has the ‘glazed staircase’ design which is based on the New Routemaster which is the Wrightbus Gemini 3 with a Volvo B5TL chassis. It shows that the so called ‘London Bus’ New Routemaster design like the glazed staircase is used in Scotland.

Give it 5 years and we will see how much the bus fleet and their designs change, then we can compare it to the past.

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