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Low Emission Bus Scheme

 
The Low Emission Bus scheme was a £30m competition run by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) to support the purchase of low and ultra low emission buses and supporting infrastructure by local authorities and transport operators across England and Wales. The scheme has closed with one round of funding distributed over three years 2016-2019.
 
N.B. In November 2016, a further £100m was allocated to OLEV to fund the uptake of both new Low Emission Buses and retrofit vehicles, with clarification of the nature of how the funds will be allocated is expected in Q2 2017.
 
The winners of the Low Emission Bus scheme were announced on the 25th July 2016 with 326 buses funded in total, with £7m going towards supporting infrastructure:
 
The Low Emission Bus (LEB) scheme is unique in its use of the Low Emission Bus certification process, which requires bus technologies to produce at least 15% less Well-to-Wheel (WTW) greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) compared with an equivalent Euro V diesel bus, and have a Euro VI certified engine or equivalent emissions based on a methodology that was developed by the LowCVP.
 
The accreditation process was designed to simultaneously reduce harmful air quality pollutants (oxides of nitrogen, particulate matter) and greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide, methane,nitrous oxide) through mandating Euro VI engine certification and requiring reductions in GHG emissions over a WTW basis.
 
To see a list of the bus models that have been accredited as Low Emission Buses, please see our LEB Certificates page where you can download and compare LEB certificates for free.
 

Primary Objectives

The new Low Emission Bus Scheme has four primary objectives.
  1. Increase the uptake of low and ultra-low emission buses in local authority across England and Wales.
  2. Support the improvement in local air quality.
  3. Reduce the impact of road transport on climate change.
  4. Continue to support the UK manufacturing sector and attract investment to the UK.

Key Features

The Low Emission Bus (LEB) scheme differs from the previous Low Carbon Emission Bus (LCEB) accreditation by awarding funding to technologies scaled against the amount of WTW emissions they save (compared to an equivalent Euro 5 diesel bus) once they have passed a minimum 15% savings threshold. Therefore technologies that save more than the minimum threshold will receive more funding.
 

Visit our Areas of Operation map to find out where LCEBs are operating.

 
Another difference is the additional "top up" funding available to technologies that can demonstrate zero emission capability (i.e. can travel at least 2.5 km of a route without emitting any emissions). This is designed to address air quality issues in town and city centres.
 
Any bus manufacturer still seeking to claim the Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG) LCEB incentive is advised to test their bus under the new LowCVP UK Bus test cycle and extract the Millbrook London Transport Bus (MLTB) data required for LCEB approval.
 
The LowCVP Low Emission Bus microsite has been created to provide bus operators, manufacturers and local transport authorities with a resource to assess, plan and implement the roll out of low emission buses.
 

Departments for Transport Links

Guidance for the LEB scheme regarding funding and eligibility criteria can be downloaded from the Department for Transport's page.

An application form  long with the accompanying calculator that must be used in any application to the LEB scheme can also be downloaded from the page.

 

Well-to-Wheel

This is a sum of all the GHG emissions associated with all the energy used in the creation and combustion of a fuel. This incorporates the emissions released when the fuel is extracted from the ‘Well’, through the refinement process to its transportation to the forecourt. These are known as "Well-to-Tank" (WTT) or "indirect" emissions.
 
For more information on how a bus becomes an LEB, and how the WTW emissions are calculated, please see the Testing and Accreditation page of this site.