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VIVALDI Report Summary

Project ID: 11958
Funded under: FP5-GROWTH
Country: France

Promoting a new clean public transport fleet in Nantes (France)

Result description New CNG buses operating and purchased through the VIVALDI project:
- 130 HEULIEZ GX317 CNG standard buses.
- 21 VOLVO 7000 CNG articulated buses.
At the end of 2004, the SEMITAN fleet comprised 191 CNG buses out of a total of 304 buses.

CNG bus fleet:
- Average fleet age: from 9.8 years in 2001 to 5.5 years in 2004.
- Urban network patronage increased by 15.7% during the project.
- Between 2001 and 2004, patronage increased by 7.2% on the 27 routes operated with CNG buses in 2004, when overall patronage on bus routes was decreasing (-1,4%).
- 81% of the customers are transported with clean fuels (electricity for tram and CNG for buses).
- 55% of the overall number of kilometres run on the Tan network is operated with clean fuels.

The pollution emitted by the bus fleet (CNG + diesel) compared with a full diesel bus fleet (“do nothing scenario”):
- Carbon monoxide (CO): - 5%
- Non-Methanic Hydrocarbons: - 27%
- NOx: - 23% - Particles: - 42%
- Globally, the corresponding social cost: - 24%.

A new gas power station and adapted south depot operate since June 2003. The comparison between a scenario without the building of a gas station owned by Nantes Métropole (i.e. with a GnVert contract) and the current situation is in favour of the latter.

Difference for 2004 energy cost of CNG bus fleet: - 4% Difference for 2004 energy cost of the all fleet: - 1.3% Who are the end-users of this result? Local authority - new elements are provided concerning the choice of large scale implementation in terms of clean fuels Citizens are the end users of a city with less emission Current and potential public transport users.

Environmental sustainability can be used to support existing PT users and convince non-users to modify their behaviour. Semitan internal publics (maintenance staff, drivers, fleet manager). Main innovative features/benefits (technical/commercial success factors) Internal design specifications were developed before the technical ones. Early 2001 Semitan described its marketing objectives to the designer, who proposed three different options in terms of lay out, information displays, handles, lighting and colours.

A prototype bus was made in autumn 2001 and displayed at the GART congress in November 2001 after the agreement of the design by SEMITAN’s management committee and marketing department. “Homemade” fuelling station, built and owned by Nantes Métropole, in contrary to the first station, which had been built by and belongs to GnVert, sister company of the national company Gaz de France. Enabling to proceed to call for tenders among CNG providers, instead of being obliged to purchase the fuel only to Gaz de France that is the case with the station implemented through previous project. CNG purchase at cheaper costs than for the first fuelling station. (Cheaper operational costs). SEMITAN staff gain real expertise in terms of managing CNG.

Market or application sectors & possible applications Effects on the bus network enhancement, especially when implementing a “Chronobus” route - a direct link with the CEN quality process, for which one of the requirements is to use CNG buses on these particular routes.

- Strong political willingness to develop clean fleet.
- Financial support from European projects.
- Less reluctance from maintenance staff and drivers, due to the experience gained within previous EU projects.
- Good acceptation by the public and customers.
- Help to enhance the image of the bus Potential barriers Difficulties on probation processes.
- Initially, 50 HEULIEZ GX317 CNG buses should have been delivered between April and July 2002 and 42 more between December and October.

The first buses were ready in April but not fully approved. They were finally delivered in August and put into operation in September 2002. In December 2002, among the CNG standard buses ordered, 67 were delivered to SEMITAN. 62 were commissioned and put in service. 5 of the 67 buses have been postponed. And finally, for the same reason, SEMITAN was required to stop the delivery of the remaining order planned for 2002 (25 CNG buses). - The 30 articulated VOLVO 7000 CNG buses ordered by SEMITAN were still waiting to be delivered in February 2003. The decision concerning the official probation by French Ministry was a very long process. Vehicles were manufactured and were stored in Poland. The French office for homologation (DRIRE, part of French Ministry of Industry) had still not given their approval to operate these vehicles in France, whereas TÜV has done so in Germany. They were put in operation on the 15th July 2003. Lack of visibility of the overall economical efficiency due to the relative short-term experience at that stage (i.e. CNG bottles maintenance).


Philippe BEGUE, (Bus fleet and bus maintenance manager)
Tel.: +33-2-51817700
Record Number: 41044 / Last updated on: 2006-08-01
Information source: e-TIP
Collaboration sought: Information exchange/Training
Stage of development: Results of demonstration trials available
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