Pioneers of biogas technology
Scania was the UK’s first bus and coach manufacturer to select biogas as the alternative fuel of choice. In 2013 we identified three key focus areas to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in passenger vehicles – saving energy, using smarter transport systems and replacing fossil fuels. So, we focused on biogas – a technology which produces up to 84% less greenhouse gases than diesel and can reduce fuel costs by up to 30%.
If you’re looking to invest in your first biogas bus or researching refuelling options, we can help. Our partnerships with a number of specialist infrastructure and gas providers, including Gas Bus Alliance and Roadgas - means we can provide a complete product and infrastructure package to get your biogas buses on the road.
Our customer, Stagecoach in Sunderland, has 40 gas Scania ADL E300S single-decker buses and their own CNG refuelling station. Their buses cover roughly 2.8 million kilometres a year, meaning they receive a rebate of approximately £168,000 from the Low Carbon Emission Bus Certificate grant.
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The best option for you
What should you consider before switching to biogas buses? Most importantly is your total cost of ownership. Work out how much you’ll spend per bus and calculate your returns and savings compared to your current fleet. If you need any help, we can work it out with you.
Refuelling is important too. The range of a biogas bus is up to 250 miles - the same as a diesel bus. Reading Buses and Stagecoach both have their own compressed natural gas (CNG) refuelling stations and Nottingham City Transport will operate one from next year.
You can choose between Wet Leasing or Bus Operator Procure and Operate. John Bickerton of Reading Buses knows what he prefers: “Wet Leasing is simple. It takes the headache away from the operator and reduces the risk of installing and managing the station yourself.”
There’s currently 16 CNG refuelling sites in England and this will grow as OLEV funds improvements to the UK’s biogas infrastructure. Some of these sites offer the use of their refuelling facilities for a fee. The bus station in Reading allows pre-arranged public access fuelling and Nottingham will also have a public access dispenser when their station is complete in May 2017.
“Running a gas fleet is less than 70% of the direct cost of a diesel fleet. They're also much more reliable, which would be worth paying a premium for."
John Bickerton, Chief Engineer
Reliable and cost-efficient
There’s over 17 million vehicles in the world running on gas and Reading Buses has 40 of them. So why do they use biogas?
“Running a gas fleet is less than 70% of the direct cost of a diesel fleet. They're also much more reliable, which would be worth paying a premium for," says their Chief Engineer, John Bickerton. "And switching to biogas has meant a saving of up to 20% on fuel costs too."
The Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) has already awarded £130 million to be spent by operators to invest in Low Emission Buses until 2019. Nottingham and Reading were both successful in this round of funding. This has led to Nottingham City Transport ordering 53 biogas double-deckers from Scania.
The incentives don’t stop there. All biogas buses supplied by Scania are entitled to a 6p rebate for every kilometre travelled in England and 10.1p in Scotland. That’s because our buses qualify for the Low Carbon Emission Bus Certificate.
Biogas bus training
Scania provides two days of technical training for all biogas bus customers. The first day focuses on product training with Scania buses, plus an introduction on biogas solutions for your technicians.
The second day is organised by Swagelok and includes technical maintenance training for the high pressure system, plus safety certification for technicians responsible for managing a biogas operation.