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19 Aug 2017

FIRST HAS FIRST BIOGAS BUS IN SERVICE

In Bristol, the company has taken delivery of its first wholly-owned biogas-fuelled double-decker, which will be operating in Bristol. As yet, First has ordered no further gas buses, the company stated, but will start experimenting with electric double-deckers.

First’s debut gas double-decker is a Scania N 280 UD with Alexander Dennis Enviro400 City bodywork. The pilot bus is one of 25 ADL-bodied Scania double-deckers that will enter service in Bristol.

Initially the whole batch was slated to be diesels, but the specification for a single chassis was changed to gas power to allow First to demonstrate the concept’s capabilities. It also gained a City body with some non-standard items for a bus delivered to the group.

Gas has debuted in Bristol for a reason, it satisfies the minimum emissions specifications for Metrobus. Euro 6 diesel does not, although it has a two-year derogation.

The First gas double-decker is similar in specification to those in the process of delivery to Nottingham City Transport.

It has 70 seats and it is fuelled by a scaled down station that has been supplied by the Gas Bus Alliance and is connected to the on-site gas main at Lawrence Hill depot. The station has a compressor and gas storage bottles, it holds enough to fill the gas reservoir of the bus.

Complementing these developments is the group’s on-going experience with hydrogen fuel cells in Aberdeen, and pockets of hybrid operation. Together, those place it among the leaders in the evaluation of alternative technologies, the company claims.