New low-emission buses have taken to the streets of Cork and Dublin as part of a test run to see how potential new additions to Bus Eireann’s fleet compare when it comes to being environmentally friendly.
The low-emission trials, which started this week, will see full electric, hybrid- electric, hydrogen and compressed natural gas/biogas buses tested alongside retrofitted diesel buses in both cities over the coming months.
A trial took place in Cork today when a diesel hybrid bus did the rounds on the 207A route.
It simulated real-driving conditions stopping at, or near, bus stops with the driver opening and closing doors along the way.
However, the buses will not carry any passengers during the trial runs - artificial weights are loaded onto the vehicles to simulate the effect a full service will have on their performances.
Aside from the drivers, the only people on board will be analytic experts who will measure the bus performance.
Each of the fuels and technologies undergoing testing will be compared against a Euro VI diesel baseline.
The trials will consider CO2 emissions, air quality impacts, and contribution potential towards renewable energy targets as well as other criteria such as costs, fuel economy, availability and infrastructural requirements for each technology.
Transport Minister Shane Ross said that as per the National Development Plan, no diesel-only buses will be bought for the publicly-owned urban bus fleets from July next year.
“We are determined that the choice of fuels or technologies that we make will be the right one for our urban bus fleets and will support the continued provision of effective public transport services as well as contributing to decarbonising the transport sector and improving our urban air quality,” he said.
The trials will run until April and all modes under consideration will be tested in both cities.