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With the contribution of the LIFE programme of the European Union - LIFE14 ENV/GR/000611

CIVITAS Policy Note: Clean buses for your city

Buses are the backbone of many European public transport systems and an important part of the municipal public transport fleet in the majority of the EU Member States.

The policy note produced by the CIVITAS Wiki project, provides policy-makers and public transport operators with an overview of available bus technologies and guides them in the initial strategic choice of a clean and more efficient energy bus concept.

The main conclusions of the policy are the following:

  • Diesel buses are still the most economical buses with the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO).

  • Natural gas buses are readily available from the major manufacturers, but costs are higher and emission advantages over diesel have diminished with the introduction of new diesel technologies.

  • Buses running on biofuels are more and more widespread. Their TCO is comparable to the TCO of diesel buses.

  • Diesel hybrid and gas hybrid buses can reduce GHG and pollutant emissions by around 20%. Hybrid buses will have somewhat higher TCO as regular buses but this may diminish over time.

  • Full electric buses are starting to become commercially available.

  • Hydrogen fuel cell buses are considered a promising option, but are currently still in an experimental stage.

  • For both electric and hydrogen fuel cell buses high investment costs in infrastructure are necessary.

For more information: click here.

The LIFE GYM [LIFE14 ENV/GR/000611] project is co-funded by the LIFE programme, the EU financial instrument for the environment.


The sole responsibility for the content of this report lies with the authors. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union. Neither the EASME nor the European Commission are responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.


Start Date: 15 September 2015 – Duration: 35 months

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