Bristol is to be the first city in the UK to trial hybrid buses that automatically switch to electric power (as opposed to the traditional diesel engine) in certain parts of the city. Bristol City Council has been given the £1 million pound grant from the Department for Transport to purchase a fleet of diesel/electric hybrids in the trial which is set to begin in the summer of 2015.
Areas of the city known to have a poorer air quality will be programmed into the buses GPS which, when driven through, will trigger the cleaner electric motor to power the bus. It is hoped that ‘geo-fencing’ will help to improve the air quality in the city as a whole.
“Geo-fencing” technology is mainly known for being part of the electronic ankle tags for offenders under licence, but it is widely becoming more and more well used.
Bristol City Council will be monitoring the emissions in these Air Quality Management Areas to see if there is an. If it is successful and there is no detriment to the operation of the buses, it could be extended to other areas.
We at PBA are always excited to see a blend of technology and transport related innovations, and we think that these sorts of ideas can help to contribute to a more sustainable future.