Bus Performance Improvements
First Bus Drives Improvements to Vehicle Performance
Recognising the need to reduce carbon emissions, improve the fuel economy of vehicles and the journey experience for customers, whilst also supporting Local Authority agendas to improve air quality, First Bus spearheaded a unique and rigorous approach to testing and procuring new vehicles.
At Millbrook Proving Ground exhaustive tests are carried out, initially testing vehicles from different manufactures ‘head to head’. This process initiated a development race amongst manufacturers delivering reductions in carbon emissions and improved efficiency of conventional diesel buses, benefitting the entire industry. First Bus alone is expected to save an estimated 11 million kilograms of CO2 per annum over the life of the vehicles procured through this work.
It was through these Millbrook trials that First Bus and manufacturers Wrightbus tested, developed and brought to market, ‘Micro-Hybrid’ buses. They are diesel vehicles which incorporate an innovative means of powering, improving fuel efficiency by around 10% compared to similar models and more than 30% compared to older vehicles. First Bus now operates more than 500 Micro-Hybrids across the UK.
Coupled with the introduction of vehicles with EURO 6 engines, which produce up to eight times less Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) and Particulate Matter (PM) emissions than Euro 5, First Bus and the wider industry are supporting Local Authority agendas and positively impacting air quality in town and city centres across the UK. In addition First Bus with its partners is also trialling hydrogen vehicles in Aberdeen and electric vehicles in York and Bristol.