Euro VI diesel buses represent a better response to environmental concerns than pure electric buses, an operator has told Brighton & Hove City Council.
Responding to the council’s consultation on stricter standards for its bus-only low emission zone (see above), Compass Travel said: “I think it would be helpful if the wording could be amended to reflect the fact that in the view of most industry experts the investment in Euro VI buses is the best option overall based on current technology.
“It is really important for Brighton & Hove Council to highlight this investment rather than implying it [Euro VI] is inferior to electric buses.”
The un-named author of the submission says: “With electric buses there are issues over how the electricity is generated – and also the use of heavy metals in the batteries and how these are ultimately disposed of. There is also the issue that current battery technology does not allow a bus to run all day without being recharged – and this then raises a lot more environmental issues.”
Compass Travel’s comments mirror comments made by some of the UK’s largest bus operators last summer in response to the Goverment’s draft air quality plan (LTT 23 Jun 17).
FirstGroup said: “Alternative fuels – both gas and electric – have a significant cost premium, particularly capital but also potentially operating costs, due to unknowns in terms of whole life costs.”
National Express West Midlands said: “We are keen that diesel bus engines are not unfairly demonised.”
Compass Travel has told Brighton & Hove that it should consider bringing forward the compliance date for Euro VI from 2024. “If anything, I would like to see it implemented sooner,” says the operator. “We’re currently investing in Euro VI buses and our Brighton services will be 100% Euro VI compliant from September this year.”
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