Council firm’s hybrid bus fleets lead to significant fuel savings.

Council-owned bus operator Lothian Buses has revealed that its recently launched fleet of hybrid vehicles are achieving significant fuel savings.

Lothian introduced 14 Alexander Dennis Enviro 400H hybrids and the vehicles are already achieving fuel savings in the region of 59% when compared to the conventional Volvo B7TL diesel-powered double deckers that the new vehicles replaced on Route 10 between Western Harbour and Torphin via Edinburgh city centre.

Ian Craig, Lothian’s managing director, says that he is impressed by the fuel economy that is being achieved by the vehicles, which use the BAE Systems HybriDrive propulsion technology.

Asked if rising fuel prices could make these vehicles a commercial proposition, Craig agreed.

“Its exactly this issue that will start to tip the commercial balance in favour of hybrid,” he told Passenger Transport. “Especially if the manufacturers can reduce chassis prices on the back of larger production volumes.”

Meanwhile, the Scottish Government has announced a further round of funding for its own Green Bus Fund. Transport minister Keith Brown said that the additional £2m funding would build last year’s Scottish Green Bus Fund where five bus operators, including Lothian, introduced 48 new low carbon buses.

“It is essential we build on these successes and commit further funding to help our bus industry invest in the latest emissions reducing green technology,” said Brown.

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