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UK government providing US$98M (£65M) for ultra-low emission cities and green buses

UK Transport Minister Baroness Kramer and Business Minister Matt Hancock announced a shortlist of 12 cities vying for a share of a £35-million (US$53-million) fund to become centers of excellence for low emission vehicles. The shortlist will be reduced to 2-4 finalists which will receive funding awards.

The Go Ultra Low city scheme will reward cities that demonstrate the most potential to become internationally outstanding examples for the adoption of ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) in a local area.

The funding has been announced alongside an additional £30 million to enable local authorities and bus operators to replace existing vehicles with greener, cutting-edge alternatives to help clean up urban air quality.

The 12 cities and authorities shortlisted for the £35 million Go Ultra Low city scheme are:

  • Greater London Authority
  • West Yorkshire Combined Authority
  • North East Combined Authority
  • City of York Council
  • West of England
  • Dundee City Council
  • Sheffield City Council
  • Milton Keynes Council
  • Department for Regional Development of Northern Ireland
  • Oxford City Council
  • Nottingham City Council
  • Leicester City Council

The Department for Transport will assess bids for the bus funding against a detailed range of criteria, including potential air quality improvements and value for money. The scheme builds on the success of the Green Bus fund, which delivered around 1,250 low emission buses onto England’s roads.

The investment forms the latest part of a £500-million (US$752-million) package set aside for ULEVs that was announced last year.

The Go Ultra Low campaign aims to increase consumer and fleet uptake of ULEVs. 7 major vehicle manufacturers and the government are backing Go Ultra Low to highlight the increasing variety and benefits of ULEVs.



The trick is to remove the worst polluters from your cities.
These might or might not be buses, they could be bin trucks or scooters or older buses.

Some kind of electrification sounds like the way to go - maybe using the Swedish Opbrid Busbaar system or an equivalent.

Buying the Swedish system would sound like a good idea as they have already spent a lot of money developing it.

Ideally, you would remove the worst buses and set up some routes for Busbaar, transferring the better conventional buses to replace the really bad ones.

It might depend on how many bus companies you have - if you have a lot, it will be difficult to switch buses between them.

One think I have noticed in Dublin is that the buses that do the "hop-on hop-off" tours are very old, while the normal city buses are much newer. (And the people running the hop on/off tours might not have the cash to replace their buses.)
[ The main Dublin Bus company is a pampered monopoly and can afford new buses. ]


There may be cheaper ways:
Fit anti-pollution controls to the older part of the bus fleet.
Train the drivers to drive less aggressively (and find some way to pay back some of the fuel they save to them).
Convert buese to natural gas (or buy Nat Gas replacements)
Hydraulic hybrids ?


A step by step approach is possible with enough incentives to reduce application cost.

Eventually, electrification with high performance batteries or with FCs will have to be progressively introduced for buses, taxis, garbage collection and delivery vehicles.

Shared (UBER like) e-vehicles could reduce city traffic jams and local pollution level.

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