August 11 2021

Ian Downie, Head of Yutong Bus, writes about why we must avoid just focusing on decarbonising the bus and coach fleets alone, and the importance of placing bus and coach at the heart of transport planning for the good of the planet.

Zero emission technology is already a tried and tested solution for decarbonising passenger transport, improving air quality and to fight the climate crisis. Yutong already have over 120,000 zero emission buses and coaches in service around the world.

Diesel cars are the biggest contributors to NOx pollution from road transport, accounting for 71% of emissions, compared with just 6% for buses and coaches. Buses are an environmental benefit for society, driving inclusivity for all. When you use a bus and coach, you’re actively fighting climate change.

Just 6 more bus journeys a year by everyone is equal to the entire bus fleet transitioning to zero emissions and a 15% increase in coach journeys by British people each year could save over a quarter of a million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

An important part of the journey to net zero is making sure we avoid just focusing on decarbonising the bus and coach fleets alone. This will make little difference if there aren’t any passengers travelling by them! Instead, we must see action from government that places bus and coach at the heart of transport planning, to make journeys quicker and more reliable and, ultimately, encourage greater use.  

A single deck bus can remove up to 70 cars off the road, easing congestion as well as removing potentially 70 emission producing cars. We need to actively encourage people back on board buses, and our zero emission buses features state of the art batteries, air conditioning, comfortable seats, WIFI and passenger information systems. All these features will encourage people to replace their cars with zero emission buses.

We are presently delivering 115 zero emission buses and coaches to operators in Wales, England and Scotland. This includes our largest order to date of 55 vehicles to McGills in Greenock. These vehicles will be ready for service prior to COP26, and demonstrates how SULEB funding makes an immediate impact on a local basis. COP26 will hopefully encourage the wider global decarbonisation to resolve the climate emergency that our world faces.

Pelican are proud to be a UK owned company with over 102 years of continuous trading. We are fully completing our vehicles in the UK, adding high value systems using our skilled employees, as well as upskilling staff at our operators premises.

Buses and coaches are clean, safe, reliable – and for the good of the planet. Let’s get people on board for the journey.