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UK government announces £48M for Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme; at least 30% less GHG than Euro VI bus

UK Transport Minister Nusrat Ghani announced a new Ultra-Low Emission Bus (ULEB) Scheme. The program will see local authorities and operators in England and Wales bid for a share of a £48 million (US$667.5 million) fund, which they can use to buy hundreds of new ultra-low emission buses as well as the infrastructure to support them.

To qualify as an ultra-low emission bus, buses must produce at least 30% less GHG emissions than a conventional Euro VI bus and meet Euro VI engine regulations.

The funding model for the grant will use a sliding scale based on a fixed value (the “efficiency value”) per gram of Well-To-Wheel carbon dioxide equivalent per kilometer (£ per gCO2e/km) saved (the “base grant”).

Under this model, bids will be awarded £150 per gram CO2 equivalent saved against the baseline. There will also be a ‘top-up’ amount available for bidders that wish to purchase buses capable of running on zero emission (ZE) only mode (the “top-up” grant). This equates to £500 per kilometer in zero emission mode with a cap of 100 km.

This is a technology–neutral program; gas buses are eligible if they meet the tougher assessment criteria.

We are doing more than ever before to reduce greenhouse gas pollution across all modes of transport and we are committed to ensuring nearly all cars and vans are emissions-free at their tailpipes by 2050. In order to achieve this ambitious target, the transport sector is going to have to change dramatically over the next couple of decades—and buses are no exception.

We are confident this scheme will encourage councils and operators to invest in these ultra-low emission vehicles—speeding up the full transition to a low emission bus fleet in England and Wales.

—Transport Minister Nusrat Ghani

The new scheme follows the success of the previous Low Emission Bus Scheme. This led to 13 organisations receiving more than £30 million (US$42 million) between them—enough to put more than 300 new low-emission buses on the road by 2019.

The current funding comes as part of a wider £100 million scheme announced in November 2016 to support low-emission buses.

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