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Green bus technologies mean it’s not business as usual

News of eleven local authorities winning a share of £5million to upgrade some of the oldest, most polluting buses on routes in England is good to see.

Cleaner engines, pumping out less CO2 and pollutants will help towards both emissions targets and air quality. These are key quality of life issues for an increasingly urban population.

It’s also encouraging that funding support is reaching outside the capital. London does have unique and large-scale transport and infrastructure issues – but there are areas with air quality problems at numerous other locations on Britain’s roads, and it’s important that’s not forgotten.

What’s more, it’s to be hoped that replacing these 392 buses prove to be both examples to others, and a market force to demonstrate the economic viability of embracing new bus technologies all across the country.

It’s fair to say that we’re still quite a way off the bus innovations seen in some other nations. South Korea, for example, is rolling out electric buses that recharge as they’re driven along specific sections of road. Although in its infancy, this seems like a breakthrough with some promise; but as the Wired.co.uk article suggests, putting magnetic field-creating cables under roads in densely-populated areas may prove something of a planning nightmare.

From a sustainability point of view, it’s always better to use buses, trains etc. than jump in a taxi. But if you must do the latter, there is some progress there too. Hybrid minicabs are an increasingly common feature on the roads, with some private hire companies running fleets of entirely low-emissions vehicles.

Now the door to zero-carbon taxis seems to have been opened. An electric business taxi firm (or chauffeur company, to be quite specific) is being launched as part of a consortium of partners, with its electricity drawn from 100 per cent renewable sources.

If all this talk of electricity and transport is whetting your appetite for some real-life action, there is still time for businesses and organisations to get an application for our one of our free Plugged-in Fleets 100 electric vehicle reviews.

Gary Hartley is Energy Saving Trust's expert blogger. He has extensive experience researching and writing on a number of topics, with particular expertise in sustainable energy, policy, literature and sport. As well as providing regular blog content, Gary has also been published in numerous magazines and journals.

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