Used cooking oil and other food waste products are being used to fuel London’s red buses in significant quantity for the first time.
120 buses being run on diesel made from used chip fat and other food waste were launched today in a new pilot scheme being spearheaded by the Mayor of London.
All of the buses that run from the Barking depot will now run on a blend of 80 percent regular diesel and 20 percent biodiesel, an environmentally friendly fuel which will help cut carbon emissions of each bus by about 15 percent.
Mike Weston, TfL’s director of buses – “The introduction of buses powered by biodiesel on London’s roads is a significant development… Using biodiesel recycles waste products, reduces carbon emissions, and we hope that by successfully trialling it we will encourage other transport operators to consider using it too”
A total of 10 routes that operate from the Barking depot will now run on the new fuel and a 50,000 litre storage tank has been installed at the garage, enabling the biofuel to be mixed on-site, reducing costs and lowering carbon emissions.
London’s bus network is one of the largest in the world, carrying 2.3bn passengers a year. With this figure set to increase significantly over the coming years it is important to make the fleet as environmentally friendly as possible.
Currently the 8,700-strong bus fleet uses around 250m litres of fuel each year, with 3.7m litres used by buses operating out of the Barking garage alone.
Matthew Pencharz, the Mayor’s senior advisor for environment and energy, said: “This is another example of the Mayor’s commitment to cutting carbon emissions and making our city’s transport even cleaner and greener. The Mayor has called for investment in a large scale biodiesel refinery in the capital and with London operating one of the biggest bus fleets in the world, this pilot is an important step in demonstrating to the UK’s biodiesel industry that there is a huge potential demand for it here.”
Mike Weston, TfL’s director of buses, said: “The introduction of buses powered by biodiesel on London’s roads is a significant development in our wider programme to continually improve the green credentials of the capital’s bus fleet. Using biodiesel recycles waste products, reduces carbon emissions, and we hope that by successfully trialling it we will encourage other transport operators to consider using it too.
It is estimated that buses running on biodiesel produce 15 percent less “well to wheel” carbon emissions than an ordinary diesel-powered bus.
Five hundred hybrid buses now operate on the capital’s roads, including the New Bus for London vehicles, with more being introduced in a rolling programme.
By 2016 there will be more than 1,700 hybrid buses in service on London’s streets representing 20 percent of the total bus fleet.