BSOG now includes zero-emission bus incentive

Zero-emission buses have for the first time, been included in BSOG.

Operators of vehicles that hold a zero emission bus (ZEB) certificate may be eligible for a 22p per kilometre rate of BSOG for those vehicles. Eligible buses must meet the normal BSOG rules, demonstrate zero tailpipe emissions and have no internal combustion engine. This will need to be verified by certification. Vehicles for which operators receive the ZEB incentive are not eligible for any other incentives.

The change has been made as part of an update to BSOG.

Other incentives are in place, including an 8% increase in the BSOG rate for vehicles that have operational smartcard systems installed and a further 2% increase for vehicles that are fitted with automatic vehicle location (AVL) equipment. Additionally, operators of vehicles that hold a low carbon emission certificate may be eligible for an additional 6p per kilometre for those vehicles. A low carbon emission vehicle must have 22 or more seats and be able to achieve a 30% reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions compared to an average Euro III diesel bus of the same passenger capacity.

As part of the same overhaul of BSOG, the DfT informs it no longer pays the grant for:

  • services operated under franchise to TfL
  • community transport (s19) services operated in-house by English local authorities
  • various specialist services
  • services supported under tender by English local authorities, except incentives for smartcard, automatic vehicle location and/or low carbon emission vehicles
  • commercial services operated within the Transport for Greater Manchester boundary

Bus electrification specialist, Equipmake, has welcomed newly announced changes. Ian Foley, the company’s Managing Director, said: “The Bus Service Operators Grant being updated to include electrified buses is a welcome and necessary step in the right direction and one Equipmake has advocated for some time. By repowering buses with electric power, the technology exists to bring cleaner air to every town and city in the UK very rapidly indeed. Along with new electric buses, repowered buses represent a historic opportunity to deliver a transformation to sustainable mobility that must not be wasted.

“We know there is a clear appetite for this. While national new bus sales are massively down, we are seeing strong demand and have plans to expand our facility, creating 180 jobs, bringing the total number of staff employed at Equipmake to 255. The changes to BSOG will only increase interest and will hopefully help repowered electric buses consign the diesel-powered bus to the history books, where it belongs.”

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