Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Promoting clean and efficient vehicles in Bristol (UK)

Result description
73 LPG vehicles have been introduced in the Council fleet. Work through the local service supply network has been completed, achieving its target of generating 50 LPG conversions amongst 4 sectors. A web portal provides a directory with a range of information about local converters and suppliers and a set of individual case studies has been produced to promote further take up of LPG beyond the project. 58 buses in Bus and Coach fleets have been retrofitted with exhaust treatment equipment including particulate traps that are capable of removing over 90% of particulate matter, hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide. 50 solar powered ‘wig-wag’ school warning signs across 21 locations in Bristol: Power savings have shown a saving of 42,573.6MJ (11,826 KWh) over 3 years. Implementation of the Flywheel Powered Tram was abandoned

Main innovative features/benefits
Clean & Efficient Buses Hybrid vehicle: one of two vehicles in the UK, which will be within the first wave of practical application of hybrid technology into inner city shuttle buses. Hybrid bus: first in the UK to receive the status of Low Carbon Bus from the national government based upon its low level of emissions.

Clean Fleet Vehicles
- Utilising the best available clean fuel vehicle technology.
- Assist in stimulating a sustainable market for clean and efficient vehicles.
- Integration of clean vehicles into the city centre Clear Zone.

Renewable Energy Supply:
- Encourage greater use of renewable energy by green procurement to stimulate additional supply capacity.
- Use of renewable energy sources for clean fuel vehicles.

Market or application sectors & possible applications
Clean & Efficient Buses It is preferable to procure LPG/Petrol vehicles direct from a manufacturer as a complete package, rather than them being retrofitted. Clean Fleet Vehicles Aside from LPG the state of market readiness of the clean fuel technology chosen requires further development by manufacturers and suppliers. Implementation of the battery electric and hybrid vehicles was restricted by the relatively small number of vehicle models available. Developing a robust technology, which can be implemented to programme, remains a challenge. Development of Fuel Supply & Local Service Supply Network By providing a package of information and support, the take up of clean fuel vehicles can be increased. Renewable Energy Supply Although the market is growing, many products are not well developed and/or suffer from operational drawbacks over conventionally powered equivalents. Exception: highway signs, solar power operation reduces energy use and operational cost, but also avoids time consuming and potentially costly installation of a conventional wired power supply. Flywheel Powered Tram The Council has negotiated a new procedure with the Strategic Rail Authority whereby the social benefits of continued or renewed rail use can be used to justify a reduction in the cost of the land transfer to the Council.

Potential barriers
The schemes in this integrated package are heavily reliant upon the availability of suitable vehicles and technology and the level of confidence of users and operators in the deployment process. Clean & Efficient Buses There was a delay in delivery of the LPG minibus of 6-7 months, caused by the LPG vehicle being retrofitted rather than coming direct from the manufacturer’s production line.

The network to support LPG use in Bristol is lacking, particularly in terms of LPG refuelling facilities and garages that will service the vehicles. BDAR identified a number of issues regarding LPG refuelling:
- The variation in systems from vehicle to vehicle and the different types of nozzle at the fuelling stations.
- Overspill from the system when refuelling can go over clothing and hands.
- Refuelling using LPG can take roughly twice the time to refuel with petrol.

The hybrid bus has yet to complete a satisfactory period of problem-free operation, which has eroded the confidence of the bus operator in the hybrid technology. Development of Fuel Supply & Local Service Supply Network Take up amongst SME group fairly low - most likely due to complications with fleet finance arrangements, the grant window not coinciding with businesses' plans to renew/replace vehicles and the large take up of diesel vehicles amongst fleet managers Fairly slow start to the scheme with little take up of grants - for most users the cost of conversion is something that needs to be anticipated and carefully considered Renewable Energy Supply The need for all equipment used on the highway to obtain UK type approval is a potential deterrent to early adopters of new technology, as they inevitably have to carry some of the risk, particularly in terms of timescales. Flywheel Powered Tram Given that this service was planned to operate on disused railway tracks, the scheme was wholly reliant on access to this infrastructure.

Reported by

Bristol City Council, Planning, Transport and Sustainable Development
Transport Initiatives Group, Floor 1, Wilder House, Wilder Street
BS2 8PH Bristol
United Kingdom
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