London Mayor Ken Livingstone is about to start trials of London's first bus fueled by bio-ethanol. The Scania OmniCity double-decker will carry 81 passengers and be powered by ethanol made from Brazilian sugar cane.
Transport for London Environment (TfL) Coordinator Helen Woolston said on Friday the bus would join a fleet of seven hybrid diesel-electric buses currently running in London, with plans for 50 more hybrids by the end of 2008.
TfL has just completed trials of hydrogen-powered buses and plans to buy 10 of these in the next year or so, she told the Bioethanol conference in London on Friday.
The buses are part of the mayor's new goal of cutting London's CO² emissions by 60 percent from 1990 levels by 2025. TfL is also considering basing London congestion charges on vehicles' CO² emissions, with a banding system similar to the government's new road tax system, Woolston said.
Scania's current ethanol engine generation reaches Euro 4 levels, required from October this year. Around 600 ethanol buses have been delivered so far. Scania is now developing its next-generation ethanol engine, planned to be ready for introduction in late 2007.
Scania is also supplying the ethanol-powered city buses for use in the BEST Bioethanol for Sustainable Transport) consortium's field trials of ethanol as a vehicle fuel.
Stagecoach's pilot study vehicle will operate in Liverpool, Barnsley, Sheffield, Newcastle and Manchester.
Stagecoach recently expanded the use of biodiesel to 1,800 vehicles in the UK in a move to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve fuel efficiency. It is now used at 28 depots in Scotland, and the North-east and North-west of England.
For the past year, Stagecoach has also been using the fuel additive Envirox across its entire UK bus fleet. Tests delivered more than a 5% cut in fuel consumption and an associated decrease in vehicle emissions.
The greenest, zero-emission vehicles are already exempt from the congestion charge.