McGill’s Buses has become the first company in the UK to test drive a new £275,000 state-of-the-art hybrid bus aimed at dramatically reducing emissions.
The Mercedes model has a diesel-electric engine combined with advanced technology designed to cut down on fuel consumption and the number of harmful gases being emitted into the atmosphere.
The bus, which costs around £275k, will be trialled by McGill’s on some Inverclyde routes between now and January to allow bosses to monitor the results with a view to placing an order.
Company owners Sandy and James Easdale along with managing director Ralph Roberts say they are determined to continue reducing the firm’s carbon footprint.
Sandy Easdale said:
“As expensive as they are, this is something we have to consider for the sake of the future of our planet.
“It will also hopefully encourage more people to use the bus, which is carbon neutral and uses less fuel.”
The bus was delivered to the company’s Greenock headquarters in Earnhill Road earlier this week ahead of hitting the road.
“These new hybrid buses are the cutting edge of investment. It’s the way forward to reducing our carbon footprint.”
A key feature of the hybrid engine is cutting down on the large fuel burn caused when the vehicle takes off from a bus stop or traffic lights by using a surge of electricity instead.
That combined with a lightweight running axle and ‘intelligent’ eco steering could reduce diesel consumption by up to 8.5 per cent.
Mr Roberts said:
“It’s a completely different concept. During acceleration, that’s when the engine is working its hardest and emits the most carbon dioxide.
“When pulling away from bus stops, for example, the electric motor does all the work.
“This is the first of its kind in the UK and we’re trialling it on our roads in tandem with our current Mercedes Citaro models, which look very similar, between the likes of Kilmacolm and Glasgow to see if the emissions reduction is there.
“We’re always trying to reduce our carbon footprint.”
The bus is said to be similar to a luxury Mercedes-Benz S Class car and also features high-end leather seats as well as low-floor access.
Inverclyde already has one of the highest rates of low emission compliant buses of any town or city in Scotland.
Article and images courtesy of Greenock Telegraph.