05 Jan 2016


As part of their application, Stagecoach has requested £5m to support the commissioning of 89 double-decker Euro VI flywheel hybrid buses in Cambridge in partnership with Alexander Dennis and GKN Hybrid Power. In a move which could see the first flywheel-battery electric system in service in the UK, GKN is seeking to combine its flywheel system with a small battery in order to provide ‘zero emission capability’ of 2.5km.
The funding would support a £17m plan for investment by Stagecoach in their Cambridge bus fleet which seeks to tackle congestion and improve air quality in the city centre.

GKN Hybrid Power has developed technology taken from Formula1’s Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS), which allows braking energy to be captured and released on demand. The energy is stored in a flywheel which can assist the bus’s acceleration from stationary. This technology is ideally suited to the stop-start conditions typical of urban bus routes.

Typically a hybrid bus would have either a flywheel or a large battery to perform the task of capturing breaking energy and assisting acceleration. To find out more about Low Emission Bus technologies, visit LowCVP’s Low Emission Bus portal.

In the West Country, First West of England have submitted a joint bid with Wessex Bus to significantly expand their fleet of gas buses. Following the successful trial of the single deck “poo-bus”, First West of England and Wessex Bus Bristol have applied for £2.5m for 130 compressed natural gas (CNG) buses which would see half the Bristol bus fleet run on biomethane.

In a related development, Transport for London has announced that by March next year, 3,000 of the capital’s 8,900 buses will use B20 green diesel, which is blended with biodiesel made from waste from the meat industry. Animal fat and cooking oil are among the ingredients that will be churned into the bus fuel. The buses are all owned by Stagecoach and Metroline, while the diesel will be supplied by Argent Energy. More than 640 buses already run on the modified fuel as part of a two-month trial.

The Low Emission Bus Scheme was launched earlier this year and closed for bidding on October 31st. The winning bids are expected to be announced early in 2016.

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