The Zemo Partnership Bus Working Group is seeking to define what is a 'Zero Emission Bus', building on a decade of work developing definitions of a Low Carbon Emission Bus (LCEB), Low Emission Bus (LEB) and an Ultra Low Emission Bus (ULEB). The primary objective for these definitions is to drive two key policy objectives:
- Driving down greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
- Improving air quality through increasing zero emission range.
The current proposed definition of a Zero Emission Bus is one that:
- Has no combustion engine on board
- Has no tailpipe air pollutant emissions
- Saves at least 30% GHG emissions verus a Euro VI diesel engine of equivalent passenger capacity over the UK Bus Cycle
There is an ongoing consultation with Zemo Partnership members and this will be on the agenda at the next meeting to be hosted on the 1st April 2021.
Historically the LCEB, LEB and ULEB definitions have been adopted by English, Welsh and Scottish government funding rounds for the purchase of cleaner and greener buses. The most recent example was the Scottish Ultra Low Emission Bus Scheme (SULEBS), the Ultra Low Emission Bus Scheme for England and Wales, as well as the All Electric Bus Town for England.
The definitions have also been adopted through operational support for buses through the Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG). In England, bus operators receive £0.06 for every kilometre that a LCEB operators (£0.06/km). In Scotland there is a tiered approach where currently operators can receive £0.05/km for a LEB and up to £0.30/km for “effectively a zero emission bus”. Wales and Northern Ireland currently don’t have direct incentives for the operation of cleaner and green vehicles.