|Scania ethanol-powered OmniCity bus.|
Stagecoach Group is conducting the first UK trials of an ethanol-powered bus outside London. The Perth, Scotland-based company, which represents 16% of the UK bus market, will test a Scania OmniLink ethanol bus (earlier post) for two weeks from 14 August for potential use in Stagecoach’s 8,000-vehicle fleet in the UK.
The Scania OmniLink ethanol bus uses 95% ethanol with a 5% ignition improver in a compression ignition (diesel) engine.
To use the E95 blend in the diesel engine, Scania raised the compression ratio from 18:1 to 28:1, added larger fuel injection nozzles, and altered the injection timing. Different gaskets and filters are required, as well as larger fuel tanks—the engines use 65% to 70% more ethanol than they would diesel. The intervals between oil changes is halved, and more scheduled maintenance is required.
Scania’s current ethanol engine generation reaches Euro 4 levels, required from October this year. Around 600 ethanol buses have been delivered so far. Scania is now developing its next-generation ethanol engine, planned to be ready for introduction in late 2007.
Scania is also supplying the ethanol-powered city buses for use in the BEST BioEthanol for Sustainable Transport) consortium’s field trials of ethanol as a vehicle fuel.
Stagecoach’s pilot study vehicle will operate in Liverpool, Barnsley, Sheffield, Newcastle and Manchester.
Stagecoach recently expanded the use of biodiesel to 1,800 vehicles in the UK in a move to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve fuel efficiency. It is now used at 28 depots in Scotland, and the North-east and North-west of England.
For the past year, Stagecoach has also been using the fuel additive Envirox across its entire UK bus fleet. Tests delivered more than a 5% cut in fuel consumption and an associated decrease in vehicle emissions.