FirstGroup, the British transport group has launched 77 biomethane-powered buses in Bristol, via subsidiary First West of England, reports Bioenergy News. The initial 10 biogas buses were put into operation in the new year, utilising an existing biogas station for refuelling that opened in 2019.
A further 27 biogas buses hit the streets in Bristol this week.
The UK built Scania buses will reduce emissions by 85 per cent, and promise customers an ‘improved onboard experience’, with comfortable interiors, USB charging ports, and additional wheelchair space.
First has constructed a new gas filling station at the Lawrence Hill depot where the new buses can now refuel. The new gas filling station designed and built by Gas Bus Alliance cost around £2 million and took nine months to build.
It can provide 100 per cent compressed biomethane to fuel up to 100 gas buses. The biomethane is delivered to the station via the mains, which means there is no requirement for heavy tankers for replenishment via roads. The biomethane is provided by the Gas Bus Alliance and is sourced from food waste using anaerobic digestion.
There has been an investment of £28m into the scheme over the last three years, nearly £5m of which came from a Low Emission Bus Scheme (LEBS) grant.
“This second and larger-capacity facility is a crucial next stage in our biomethane journey,” said James Freeman, First West of England managing director, “it means we can roll out cleaner, greener vehicles and contribute substantially to help clean up the local air.”
The new station will operate in tandem with the existing biomethane station in Bedminster, south of the city. With the opening of the new station, a total of 99 buses will be running on biomethane in the area by April 2020. Each bus will be able to run for around 250 miles.
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