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November 16, 2016
Tackling fossil fuel consumption

This city never ceases to wow me – be it the sea, the staggering coastline or the breath-taking South Downs. We live hand-in-hand with nature, and this makes it such a special place to be.

So as a bus operator, with over 2.5k tonnes of metal navigating its way around this seaside haven, thousands of times each day, we are hugely conscious of our impact on the environment.

We work continuously on our environmental footprint. This ethos runs through the entire business. Be it implementing smarter energy in our depots, recycling anything from driver uniforms, waste oil, contaminated rags, florescent light tubes, batteries, plastics, cardboard and mixed metals. You name it, we recycle it. Everyone in the business is doing their bit to help reduce our ecological footprint.

However, the big burning question you may have is – what are we doing about the fossil fuel consumption of our diesel buses?

It’s scary to think that the last time there was this much carbon in the air, humanity didn’t even exist. But as the recent UN climate summit demonstrates, although global carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels have seen “almost no growth for a third consecutive year”, we can not rest on our laurels. Emissions need to decrease fast, not just stop growing. And as a bus company carrying 50 million passenger journeys a year, we can make big changes with significant impact.

So where are we now and where do we want to be?

Our current fleet is 85% Euro 5 or better, including 13 hybrid diesel electric buses. All new vehicles purchased are Euro 6 – we now have 48. And, with our passenger capacity, each day our buses take around 50,000 cars off the city’s roads. That’s equivalent to preventing a two lane tailback from Brighton to Southampton.

We also monitor fuel efficiency to get the most out of our diesel – and together with our drivers we monitor technique so that MPG is maximised. We are set to achieve the city council’s low emission zone target a year ahead of deadline. But we know we need to do more.

And we are working tirelessly on this. Behind the scenes, we are finding out how we can best implement the newest and cleanest technology. And that means electric – in the short-term at least.

We are considering many options. We are exploring converting a number of diesel buses to electric, and we’re investing in micro hybrid buses which reduce diesel consumption and emissions.

What we are really excited about, is the arrival of a fully electric demo BYD Volvo doubledeck bus which we can trial in the city very soon. It will be the same electric bus that is used in London. We need to see how this vehicle will cope with the city’s unique topography and high passenger loads, as it’s vital to match a vehicles capabilities to the profile of the route.

We’ll shortly be welcoming a representative from BYD Volvo, who’ll be assessing our route profiles. He can tell us which bus routes would be most suited to the currently available fully electric buses.

All being well, with a successful trial period, we could be investing in a fleet of electric buses for one of our city’s major routes in the not too distant future.

Buses that will help us to take a hold of nature’s hand and protect our wonderful city.

If you would like to discuss electric buses do email at