The UK’s Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) has been commissioned to monitor and evaluate the performance and impacts of low emission buses in 13 locations across the country by the Department for Transport (DfT).
Buses undertake many miles of travel in urban areas and traditionally run on diesel fuel, which produces CO? emissions and has been proven to have a negative impact on air quality. The DfT is taking steps to reduce these emissions through the Low Emission Bus Scheme, which has provided grants for the deployment of low emission buses and related infrastructure on existing routes around the country. Positioned across the UK, variations of gas, full-electric, hybrid-electric and hydrogen fuel cell buses will be procured and operated by the country’s bus operators.
As an organization that is independent from government, industry and academia, TRL will carry out data collection and analysis of bus and infrastructure performance, cost savings, and environmental impacts, to create insight reports for the DfT and the bus industry. This will allow government and bus operators to make informed decisions about how to best develop their low emission bus fleets and infrastructure. The trials are already underway and TRL will be looking to report back the interim projects findings in just over 12 months’ time.
The project adds to TRL’s growing portfolio of innovative research projects in the field of low carbon vehicles. The organization is already involved in: the Consumers, Vehicles and Energy Integration (CVEI) project, an integrated energy and transport project to encourage wider adoption of plug-in vehicles; Electric Nation, the world’s largest electric vehicle (EV) trials; and the UK arm of the ZeEUS project, which aims to facilitate the widespread introduction of electrified bus systems in Europe.
“There is a lot of emphasis on reducing emissions in the UK and improving air quality within our communities. This is why it is vital the various low emission bus solutions being put in place are evaluated, to inform smart investments and policy decisions in the future,” explained Denis Naberezhnykh, head of ultra-low emission vehicles and energy at TRL.
“By implementing a robust process for collecting accurate and reliable data from these projects over an extended duration, a comprehensive understanding of their performance and impacts will be obtained and made available to the DfT, bus operators and the broader bus industry.”