National trade body the British Compressed Gases Association (BCGA) has produced a new video, looking behind the scenes at a new generation of buses powered by compressed biogas.
Nottingham City Transport (NCT) is operating the world’s largest number of double decker buses powered by the gas, setting a blueprint for a green, cost-effective and high-performance fleet in the city.
With an individual driving range of up to 250 miles, the buses are delivering a range of economic and environmental benefits, including significant from exhaust emissions, with greatly reduced particulates and Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) and savings in refueling in comparison to conventional fuels.
NCT first introduced 53 biogas buses in 2017, supported by the first round of funding from the Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).
Extra buses, which will take the total fleet to 120 vehicles, are due to take to the road soon, with OLEV providing additional funding towards the project infrastructure.
In the film, available to view below Gary Mason, Engineering Director at Nottingham City Transport, explains the reasons for adopting biogas into their fleet and their performance to date.
Gary said: “We introduced the world’s largest fleet of biogas double-decker buses with 53 put into operation in 2017 and 2018, and by the end of the year, we will soon be running 120 of them.
“We need a range of 250 miles per day between fueling in order to have every bus capable of completing every duty, and an electric double-decker could not achieve that on a single charge.
“Compared to a diesel equivalent, these buses are cheaper to run. They perform in the same way as a conventional diesel bus in terms of short refueling times, long range and ease of maintenance, but the fuel is more cost-effective.
“Environmentally, they are also making a significant impact.
“The buses already meet the Euro 6 standard that is required to go into Nottingham city centre from January 2020, which is itself very clean, but what we want to achieve is not only a clean bus, but a green bus.
“By green we mean that we are reducing our carbon footprint to come as close to carbon neutral as possible and by using compressed biomethane we can achieve the lowest standard of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions that is currently achievable.
“Already our initial fleet of 53 biogas buses has saved over 84 per cent CO2 and 70 per cent NOx per year.
“There’s also little difference in timescale between filling up with conventional diesel and compressed gas, and that is very important to us.”
BCGA member company Roadgas has undertaken the engineering works for the project and David Rix, Managing Director, also appears in the video explaining the work involved in the project, at both the design and build stage, and in the day-to-day operation to maintain the smooth running of the biogas fleet on a daily basis.
The commercialisation of compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) is making rapid progress in internal combustion engines for heavy vehicles such as buses, as well as trucks.
BCGA, which represents the UK’s compressed gases sector, the ‘Invisible Industry,’ is at the forefront of this development – with its members bringing safe and trusted technology to power a new generation of natural gas vehicles.
David Hurren is the Chairman of TSC 9, BCGA’s Gaseous Fuels Committee, which has world-renowned experts on the panel offering safety and technical guidance.
David said: “Members of BCGA work together on technical, safety, health and environmental issues to achieve high standards of integrity and environmental care, both within their own and customers’ working environments.
“We are at the heart of a well-regulated, long-established and highly skilled industry, which is constantly developing new technologies and opportunities for clean energy vehicles.
“TSC 9 has been instrumental in the development of new Codes of Practice which set a blueprint for the safe introduction and use of new generation, low energy fuels.
“It’s clear that the technology and expertise are in place to push ahead with gas powered vehicles, and this video, demonstrating the fleet in practice at Nottingham City Transport, clearly reflects that.”