FirstGroup drives more miles on biodiesel in first half of 2016/17 FY

Figures reveal that FirstGroup, a British transport group, has increased its use of alternative fuels, such as biodiesel, gas, and electric engines.

In its North American businesses, alternative fuel usage increased by almost 3% in the first half of the 2016/17 financial year.

During this period, more than 63 million miles were travelled by vehicles running on biodiesel, gas, or electricity.

The company also saw 45% growth in liquefied natural gas (LNG) mileage and 22% increase in liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) mileage when compared to the same period in the previous year.

“The volume of alternative fuels we use – in comparison to standard fuels – is growing every year. [The shift] is supported by increasing demand for greener alternatives from our customers and passengers,” Jim Harbidge, group head of environment, said.

“FirstGroup is able to meet this demand because we’re at the forefront of our industry in terms of innovative low emission technologies. Others have recognised this too, with our First Bus division recently being crowned Low Carbon Vehicle Operator of the Year 2016.

“The B20 biodiesel we use in some of our North American fleet is cleaner and less carbon-intensive, offering up to 14% reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in comparison with conventional diesel.”

The company has also increased its investment in Euro VI bus engines in the UK, and the six months between April and September 2016 saw a 14-fold surge in mileage driven on these greener engines when compared to the same period in 2015.

“Our investment in fuel and vehicle technology is setting new standards for efficiency. The alternative fuels market is an exciting, but crowded, place. Through this investment, our customers know that the best solution is being used on their journey,” added Harbidge.