First named Low Carbon Vehicle Operator of the Year

First named Low Carbon Vehicle Operator of the Year

First Bus, won top prize at the Low Carbon Champions Awards last month after being crowned ‘Low Carbon Vehicle Operator of the Year 2016’. The judges were impressed by the First Bus vehicle trials at Millbrook vehicle testing facility in Bedfordshire.

First Bus challenged bus manufacturers in 2012 when it introduced a rigorous annual vehicle testing programme, the results of which help First Bus decide which vehicle model and manufacturer to buy. 

First is investing £70million in 305 new vehicles this financial year and since 2012 has invested around £300million in almost 1,600 new buses. With multi-million pound orders at stake, manufacturers have treated the annual trials at Millbrook very seriously and improved the fuel efficiency and reduced vehicle carbon emissions of vehicles by 30 per cent.

Judges also cited First Bus’ pursuit of emerging low emission technologies; the company operates 12 electric buses in York and two in Bristol, four hydrogen fuel cell buses in Aberdeen, and in Bristol recently trialled a bio-methane vehicle popularly known as the ‘poo bus’

In awarding First Bus the coveted Low Carbon Vehicle Operator of the Year prize, judges said: “First Bus has demonstrated innovation by creating a Millbrook Fuel Economy Test for bus manufacturers as part of its bus procurement strategy. This has set a challenge for manufacturers, pushing forward improvements in fuel efficiency in the industry as a whole. The company has spearheaded the adoption of a range of low carbon bus technologies including hybrid, electric and hydrogen buses as well as embracing the latest Euro VI vehicles.”

Giles Fearnley, managing director, First Bus, adds: “I am extremely proud that First Bus continues to lead the industry, working with our manufacturing partners to produce vehicles that are ever more fuel efficient, cost effective and of course better for our environment. I’m delighted therefore, that our trail blazing approach and in particular our ground breaking vehicle trials has been recognised at the LowCVP Champions Awards.”

The Grand Prix Award for Outstanding Achievement in Low Carbon Transport went jointly to H2 Aberdeen for its hydrogen bus project and Argent Energy. Meanwhile, the Outstanding Individual in Promoting Low Carbon Transport was Peter Hendy, former Commissioner of Transport for London; Scania Great Britain was Low Carbon Heavy Duty Vehicle Manufacturer of the Year with BYD Europe named runner up; and Reading Buses was a runner-up for the Low Carbon Road Transport Initiative of the Year.