The Go-Ahead Group will operate an entirely zero-emission bus fleet in the UK by 2035, it has announced. The plan forms part of Go-Ahead’s wider strategy to become a carbon-neutral transport provider by 2045. That work includes a significant reduction in its contribution to air pollution by 2025 and a 75% cut in emissions by 2035.
Go-Ahead says that its targets “are the most ambitious in the industry and will be achieved through a combination of investment in zero-carbon technology, a crackdown on waste and a significant increase in reuse and recycling of materials.”
A move away from diesel is at the heart of the strategy. Go-Ahead will utilise zero-emission technologies including battery- and hydrogen fuel cell-electric to achieve that shift. It says that by 2025, it will achieve a 17% reduction in emissions of carbon monoxide, a 49% cut in hydrocarbons, a 63% fall in nitrogen oxides and a 50% cut in particulate matter from vehicles.
Since 2016 Go-Ahead has delivered a 22% reduction in its emissions despite the expansion of its business. Its ranking of A minus by the Carbon Disclosure Project is the highest of any UK transport operator, the group says.
Chief Executive David Brown describes Go-Ahead’s climate change plan as “ambitious but deliverable.” He adds a hope that it will be matched by “a broader shift in public policy on transport by encouraging people to walk or cycle where necessary, use buses and trains as an alternative but only use a car is absolutely necessary.”
To complement the group’s existing work on zero-emission buses, vehicle-mounted solar panels and air filtering, and extended-range engine-off capable diesel-electric hybrids in Brighton, Go-Ahead London expects to implement its ‘bus to grid’ trial at Northumberland Park depot this summer. That will involve 28 BYD ADL Enviro400EV battery-electric double-deckers returning up to over 1MW of energy to the grid at times of high demand.