Monday 6 February 2017

FirstGroup Increases Use of Alternative Fuels

  • 2016 sees 1,300% increase in FirstGroup’s Euro VI bus mileage in the UK
  • 63 million miles travelled by greener alternative fuel vehicles in USA and Canada
Figures from FirstGroup demonstrate an expanded use of latest-generation bus engines and alternative fuel sources across the company’s fleets in 2016.

Over the past 12 months, the transport operator has increased its use of alternative fuels, such as biodiesel, gas, and electric engines.

The company has also ramped up its investment in Euro VI bus engines in the UK. The six months between April and September 2016 saw a 14 times increase in mileage driven on these greener engines, when compared to the same period in 2015.

Euro 6 is the latest generation of diesel engine and generates only one eighth of the harmful nitrogen oxide emissions produced by Euro V engines.

Jim Harbidge, Group Head of Environment, said: “The volume of alternative fuels we use – in comparison to standard fuels – is growing every year; a change which is supported by increasing demand for greener alternatives from our customers and passengers.

“FirstGroup is able to meet this demand because we’re at the forefront of our industry in terms of innovative low emission technologies. Others have recognised this too, with our First Bus division recently being crowned Low Carbon Vehicle Operator of the Year 2016.”

In the company’s North American businesses, alternative fuel usage increased by almost 3% in the first half of the 2016/17 year. During this period, more than 63 million miles were travelled by vehicles running on biodiesel, gas, or electricity.

The company also saw 45% growth in liquefied natural gas mileage (LNG) and 22% increase in liquefied petroleum gas mileage (LPG), when compared to the same period in the previous year.

Jim Harbidge said: “The B20 biodiesel we use in some of our North American fleet is cleaner and less carbon-intensive, offering up to 14% reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in comparison with conventional diesel.”

“Our investment in fuel and vehicle technology is setting new standards for efficiency. The alternative fuels market is an exciting, but crowded, place. Through this investment, our customers know that the best solution is being used on their journey.”