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LowCVP members collaborate in 'green diesel' HVO coach trial

Fri 12 October 2018 | Back to news list | More bus news

In the search for options to decarbonise the coach sector, two LowCVP members have come together to trial a 'green diesel' which they say could save up to 90% greenhouse gas emissions on a well-to-wheel basis, without impacting maintenance regimes or vehicle warranties. 

'Green D+' fuel supplier Green Biofuels and coach manufacturer Scania have joined forces to understand the benefits that HVO could provide for coach operations. To do this, 'Green D+' was trialed for 3 months with Lucketts, a National Express operator, comparing the performance of pump diesel with 'Green D+' on the same vehicle models on the same route to ensure a valid comparison of performance.

Though a full analysis of the data is still being conducted, a clear outcome is the reduction in AdBlue being used by vehicles using the HVO 'GreenD+' fuel. AdBlue is used to remove harmful NOx from the exhaust systems and this reduction indicates the onboard NOx sensor is detecting less NOx coming from the engine to the aftertreatment system, resulting in less AdBlue being used on board.

The fuel was also tested with the same Scania coach over the LowCVP UK Coach Cycle, which demonstrated reductions in particulate emissions and carbon monoxide compared with the diesel baseline test. 

HVO (Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil) is created from waste biomass feedstocks such as used vegetable oil and treated with hydrogen to create a near identical fuel to fossil diesel. Using waste feedstocks results in a significant reductions in well-to-wheel greenhouse gas emissions for vehicles using HVO, up to 90% in some cases.

There are few options for coach options to switch to lower carbon powertrains due to the wide range of duty cycles that coaches perform on a day-to-day basis. This builds the case for using renewable fuels in existing vehicles, especially as HVO can be used without any modifications to engines or maintenance regimes and without requiring additional infrastructure.

There are zero emission options coming forward from LowCVP members such as Pelican Bus and Coach (supplying Yutong vehicles), though these are being targeting at city operations and school services, rather than long-haul activities.

Dan Hayes, LowCVP's Bus Project Manager said: "We welcome this collaborative trial between fuel suppliers and manufacturers to proactively identify options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from heavy duty operations. Using robust test methodology and demonstrating performance in the real world, Green Biofuels and Scania are helping move the debate forward through partnerships by demonstrating a clear commitment to reducing emissions from heavy duty operations in the UK."

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