Arriva North West is has brought Britain’s first biogas-powered double decker to the streets of Liverpool after a short trial on the streets of Manchester in May.
The bus has been developed over a two-year period by Scania, the Sweden-based commercial vehicle manufacturer, specifically for the UK bus market.
With emissions of carbon dioxide reduced by up to 84 per cent, the vehicle can operate on biogas created from waste products such as household food waste or waste water.
Derek Draper, General Manager at Arriva North West Speke says: “Arriva is committed to reducing its environmental impact. Trialling new low-emission technologies to reduce air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions helps us move towards our environmental goals and supports our group-wide ‘Destination Green’ environmental programme. The biogas bus is now on trial across various routes travelling within south Liverpool and we’re looking forward to seeing our passengers experience this exciting new double decker.”
Scania has a long history of producing gas-powered vehicles for European markets but developing a product to supply to bus operators in the UK has been a greater challenge, as Mark Oliver, Scania’s UK Bus & Coach Fleet Sales General Manager, explains: “Unlike mainland Europe, British bus networks use a high proportion of double deck buses. Across Europe, single deck buses with gas tanks on the roof are a common sight, but for the UK we have had to accommodate the tanks within the double deck bodywork itself.”
For the trial, the bus will be fuelled using a mobile refuelling station provided by Scania’s infrastructure partner Roadgas. In permanent operations, operators install a gas filling station with dispensers which can be shared with other gas-fuelled vehicles in the local area, including trucks and municipal vehicles such as refuse collectors.
Based on a Scania N280UD chassis, the gas-powered Scania/ADL Enviro 400MMC double deck bus features Scania’s OC09 101 nine-litre, five-cylinder, Euro 6 dedicated gas engine, driving through a ZF EcoLife six-speed fully automatic gearbox incorporating ZF’s Topodyn automated gear selection program, which is fitted as standard.
The OC09 101 develops 280 horsepower (206kW) at 1,900rpm and 1,350Nm torque at 1,000-1,400 rpm and is capable of operating on compressed natural gas (CNG) or biogas. When operated on biogas, carbon dioxide emissions are reduced by up to 90 percent. To meet Euro 6 emission levels, the engine employs a three-way catalyst, exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and does not require selective catalytic reduction (SCR).
Tanya Neech, Senior Advisor Sustainable Fuels at Scania added “The double deck gas bus is being trialled in Liverpool to demonstrate the vehicle’s reliability, running costs and the benefits of running on Biogas in real life service. Gas double deckers offer real savings in carbon and greenhouse gas emissions.”
The biogas has been operating on the following services: 75 Halewood to Liverpool via Woolton, 76 Halewood to Liverpool, 78 Halewood to Liverpool via Wavertree, 79 Halewood to Liverpool via Netherley, 80 & 80A Speke or Liverpool Airport to Liverpool via Allerton, 81 & 81A Speke or Liverpool Airport to Bootle via Queens Drive, 82 Speke to Liverpool via Aigburth Road and 86 & 86A Garston or Liverpool Airport – Liverpool via Smithdown Road.