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Scania ready to test world’s first gas-powered double-decker bus

Bus to undergo two months of testing in the UK

PHOTO: A major challenge in developing the bus was modifying its fuel system to ensure the bus offered an acceptable range for operators. Credit: Scania

Scania has developed the world’s first Euro 6 double-decker gas-powered bus, which is now ready for final testing.

After two years of development, the bus will now undergo two months of tests ahead of delivery to the British market, slated for later this year, Scania said.

The bus, developed by the Swedish manufacturer and assembled in the UK by MI Vehicle Integration Limited and Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL), recently arrived at the Port of Gothenburg. It was then driven over 400kms to the Scania Technical Centre in Södertälje.

According to a company statement, the bus was developed in response to customer demand, after the success of Scania’s single-deck model in the UK.

The first order for five double-decker buses has been confirmed by Reading Buses, which already maintains a fleet of 34 Scania single-decker gas buses.

“There is a significant interest with operators throughout the UK, and a number of serious inquiries are being processed by Scania Great Britain and Alexander Dennis,” said Mark Oliver, Bus and Coach fleet sales manager for Scania Great Britain.

A major challenge in developing the product was modifying the fuel system to ensure that the bus offers an acceptable range for operators, Oliver noted. Fuel tanks for single-decker gas buses are often placed on the roof of the vehicle – a solution that was not possible on the new double-decker model, due to height restrictions.

On the new bus, some of the fuel supply is stored underneath the stairs behind the driver, similar to diesel-powered double-deckers. However, the majority of the gas is stored in a new compartment behind the upper passenger area.

Another challenge in the development of the bus was that the engineers had to fit the gas engine into the double-decker’s smaller engine compartment and deal with increased heat output, said Tudor Clipii, assignment manager for the project. “The engine produces much more heat than the diesel one.”

In Södertälje, the new bus will undergo numerous tests in which, among other things, the engine software and fuel consumption will be optimised.

In addition to being quieter than diesel models, the gas bus will also produce much lower carbon emissions. “We’re pleased that we’ve got a vehicle that uses fuel from a low-carbon, sustainable fuel source, in both single and double deck models,” said Oliver.

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