FirstGroup expands use of alternative fuels and latest-generation bus engines

18 January 2017  •  Author(s): Katie Sadler, Eurotransport

Operator FirstGroup has revealed an increase in its use of alternative fuels and latest-generation bus engines across the company’s fleet in 2016.

FirstGroup expands use of alternative fuels and latest-generation bus engines

Credit First Group

Figures reveal that FristGroup has increased its use of alternative fuels, such as biodiesel, gas, and electric engines. In its North American businesses, alternative fuel usage increased by almost 3 percent in the first half of the 2016/17 year. During this period, more than 63 million miles were travelled by vehicles running on biodiesel, gas, or electricity.

63 million miles travelled by vehicles running on alternative fuels

The company also saw 45 percent growth in liquefied natural gas mileage (LNG) and 22 percent increase in liquefied petroleum gas mileage (LPG), when compared to the same period in the previous year.

Jim Harbidge, Group Head of Environment, said: “The volume of alternative fuels we use – in comparison to standard fuels – is growing every year; a change which is supported by increasing demand for greener alternatives from our customers and passengers.

“FirstGroup is able to meet this demand because we’re at the forefront of our industry in terms of innovative low emission technologies. Others have recognised this too, with our First Bus division recently being crowned Low Carbon Vehicle Operator of the Year 2016.

“The B20 biodiesel we use in some of our North American fleet is cleaner and less carbon-intensive, offering up to 14 percent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in comparison with conventional diesel.”

The company has also increased its investment in Euro VI bus engines in the UK. The six months between April and September 2016 saw a 14 times surge in mileage driven on these greener engines, when compared to the same period in 2015.

“Our investment in fuel and vehicle technology is setting new standards for efficiency. The alternative fuels market is an exciting, but crowded, place. Through this investment, our customers know that the best solution is being used on their journey,” added Mr Harbidge.

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