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25 September 2013

Beijing switches to cleaner buses

Copyright: PeacePlusOne, Flickr.com

Beijing (China) is phasing out diesel fuelled buses in its municipal fleet in favour of using liquefied natural gas (LNG). It is hoped that this will make some impact on air pollution in the smog-prone city, as LNG vehicles emit considerably less particulate matter than diesel vehicles.

The city plans to bring the total number of buses using LNG up to more than 5,600, with the eventual goal of having more than 60 percent of its operating vehicles using the alternative fuel by 2017. When tests were conducted looking at the difference between emissions from diesel and LNG fuelled vehicles, it was found that using LNG cuts emissions of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) by up to 97 percent.

By using LNG to fuel its bus fleet, Beijing expects to cut about 1.52 million tons of emissions, including 0.39 million tons of carbon monoxide, 1.07 million tons of nitrogen-oxygen compounds, and more than 52 tons of PM 2.5 (particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter), every year.

For more information, click here.

10 September 2013

Mixed picture on car manufacturers’ emissions reduction record, new report shows

Copyright: Ruben de Rijcke, Wikimedia Commons

A report published on 9 September by the environmental campaign group Transport and Environment (T&E) indicates that European car manufacturers are on track to meet targets to cut carbon emissions by 2015 without the need for external support.

A popular strategy had been to offer supercredits that would offset the production of traditionally fuelled cars with sales of electric or hybrid vehicles. However, the report found that in the case of car manufacturer Nissan, supercredits reduced its emissions target by two grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer (g/km). The report states that the use of supercredits might have a negligible or even a negative impact on emissions reduction targets. The EU has set a target for car manufacturers to cut their carbon emission to an average of 130g/km by 2015.

In general, the rates of emissions produced by new cars have been decreasing steadily. However, there is often a disparity between the rate of emissions measured in official tests and those produced by actual drivers. The report shows that only five companies achieved real emissions reductions of more than ten percent, and that the majority have shown an improvement of between five and ten percent

For more information and to read the report, click here.

9 September 2013

Guidance and tools on CVD implementation

Even though the Clean Vehicles Directive has been transposed by all EU member states, there remains relatively little detailed guidance on its implementation at the national and European level.

Clean Fleets has reviewed existing guidance and support tools available at the European and national levels. The findings are summarised in the report Guidance and tools on CVD implementation.

Following this stock-take, Clean Fleets will produce a CVD implementation toolkit, which will include a straightforward procurement guide for public authorities and transport operators, together with a life cycle costing tool, which integrates the lifetime emissions cost calculation prescribed by the CVD.

Read the review report on existing guidance and tools.

6 September 2013

The New Bus for London – Diesel/electric hybrid

A Mayoral priority project in 2008 wanted an updated version of the classic London Routemaster double-decker bus, with very high environmental credentials.  This resulted in the procurement of the New Bus for London, the first bus specifically designed for London in over 50 years.

Transport for London tendered for the design, manufacture and supply of 600 diesel electric hybrid buses between 2012 and 2016. This constitutse the largest order of hybrid buses ever placed in Europe.

The The New Bus for London combines the iconic London bus design with modern hybrid electric technology. It emits less than half the CO₂ and NOx than a current London diesel bus in service.

Transport for London has made it a big policy to introduce and operate green buses throughout its vast bus network.  Overall, London has Europe’s largest fleet of green buses and is looking to increase its green fleet.

Read the full case study (pdf).

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