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Covenant city Nottingham leads the way on clean public transport
Covenant city Nottingham leads the way on clean public transport
10 luglio 2017 - 11:50

UK Covenant of Mayors signatory Nottingham is taking the lead on e-mobility in Europe through an ambitious electric bus project.

The city council of Nottingham launched in 2012 a six-year project to convert its entire tendered bus fleet ('Linkbus') to electric buses. The €17 million project, implemented in partnership with the city's urban transport company (Nottingham Community Transport), is mainly funded through the city's workplace parking levy and a UK Green Bus funding scheme. Furthermore, some funding has come from the EU Horizon 2020 REMOURBAN project, a Smart Cities and Communities (SCC) project where Nottingham is involved in as frontrunner city ('Lighthouse city').

Nottingham's electric bus project has three objectives: reduce air pollution, decrease noise levels and cut operating costs. Between 2012 - 2017, it has already delivered carbon emission cuts worth 1050 tons, and decreased fuel costs by €340,000. Upon completion of the project in 2018, Nottingham will be able to save over €225,000 per year in the operation of its bus fleet. These generated savings are critical for the city, especially in light of strained public budgets.

Besides cutting emissions and generating important financial savings, the city has also benefitted from electrifying its bus fleet in many other ways. Harmful air pollution has been decreased significantly, thereby increasing the quality of life for citizens as they can breathe cleaner air. Moreover, Nottingham's electric buses are far quieter in operation than its former diesel buses, leading to reduced noise levels and a more harmonious environment for local residents.  

Nottingham's electric bus project has also benefitted the city's bus drivers. The electric buses incentivize drivers to drive more efficiently, as they e.g. hardly break anymore in order to better conserve the batteries of their buses. In addition to this, drivers have engaged in an energy efficient competition against one another, since they motivate each other to see who can keep the buses' batteries working the longest. Nottingham's bus drivers are reported to be so satisfied with their e-buses, that they wouldn't go back to driving diesel buses.

The electricity for Nottingham's e-buses is currently supplied by SSE on a 100% renewable energy tariff. Nottingham has also begun to introduce biogas double decker buses on its high frequency bus routes along key corridors - a move which will further support the Covenant city's efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and improve air quality.

(c) photo: Jens Bartholomes, Twitter

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