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London buses go greener with cooking oil waste

London bus


  • One third of London’s buses to run on waste fats and oils
  • New biodiesel deals will reduce CO2 emissions from London buses by 21,000t each year
  • COemissions from each bus will fall by more than 10%

Almost a third of London’s bus fleet will soon be running on a greener blend of diesel, resulting in COemissions reducing by 21,000t each year.

Two bus operators, Stagecoach and Metroline, have signed deals with Argent Energy to supply them with B20 green diesel – a cleaner burning fuel made from blending diesel with renewable biodiesel from waste products, including cooking oil and tallow from the meat processing trade. 

By March next year, almost 3,000 of the capital’s 8,900 buses will be powered by the B20 fuel blend. A trial over the past two months ran 642 buses on the new fuel.

Transport for London director of buses Mike Weston said the new fueld required “no extra spend needed and no long delay for the fitting of new kit”.

Currently, the London bus fleet uses around 240M.l of fuel each year. Under the new deals, about 80M.l of the new greener blend of fuel per year will be consumed.

How green are London’s buses?

  • The capital’s bus fleet has over 1,500 hybrid electric buses and 15 pure electric buses. Over 2,000 older buses have been retrofitted with Selective Catalytic Reduction, reducing their NOx emissions by up to 88% per bus. The number of hybrid buses will increase to over 1,700 by 2016 – a figure that will represent over 20% of the fleet.
  • Eight, zero emission hydrogen buses operate on route RV1, between Covent Garden and Tower Gateway. Transport for London (TfL) will also soon be trialling inductive charging technology that will enable special extended range diesel electric hybrid buses to wirelessly charge their batteries while they wait at bus stands. 
  • The technology will be trialled on up route 69 in east London, which runs between Canning Town and Walthamstow bus stations.
  • The world’s first purpose-built double deck electric buses will also enter passenger service shortly.
  • By 2020, as part of the Ultra Low Emission Zone, TfL is committed to ensuring all 300 single decker buses operating in central London are zero emission, and all 3,100 double deck buses are hybrid.


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