Scania has joined the Global Industry Partnership on Soot-Free Clean Bus Fleets with a commitment to, by 2018, provide modern soot-free buses to 20 major cities in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Australia. 

“To tackle the challenge of poor air quality and climate change, Scania is proud to offer clean bus solutions operating at lower cost than today’s conventional diesel operations,” says Karin Rådström, head of Buses and Coaches at Scania.

Black carbon is a significant component of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) outdoor air pollution, which has been linked to a series of adverse health effects, in particular premature mortality. Recent scientific research also indicates that black carbon plays an important role in climate change.

Scania today manufactures and sells soot-free buses that effectively produce up to 99% fewer black carbon emissions than older diesel engine technology. However, of all buses sold in the world today, less than one-fifth have soot-free engines. “There is a growing opportunity to create economic, environmental, and human health benefits by transitioning the highest emitting and oldest engines in the global urban bus fleet to the cleanest fuels and engines available,” states the Global Industry Partnership.

The transition to soot-free buses is an initiative led by the International Council on Clean Transportation, ICCT, and UN Environment in cooperation with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and the Centro Mario Molina – Chile.

The targeted cities are Abidjan, Accra, Addis Ababa, Bangkok, Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Casablanca, Dar es Salaam, Dhaka, Istanbul, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Lagos, Lima, Manila, Mexico City, Nairobi, Santiago, São Paulo, and Sydney. Some of these cities have already committed themselves to start procuring cleaner buses and Scania presently delivers soot-free buses to several of the targeted  countries.

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The cities will, in turn, provide fuel for engines that meet the Euro 6 or US 2010 emission standards, including diesel fuel with less than 10 ppm sulphur and other low-carbon alternative fuels, such as biodiesel, gas and ethanol. Scania can provide buses for all these technologies. In 2016, Scania sold 2,583 soot-free buses (Euro 6), representing 30.5% of the total bus sales.

This transition requires the commitment and engagement of several partners. Scania will make buses available for these cities. Additionally, energy providers, including fuel importers and refiners, need to invest in cleaner fuels. Fleet owners must prioritise the procurement of soot-free technology. National and local governments have the responsibility to set environmental performance standards for new buses, establish the necessary fuel quality standards, ensure that adequate infrastructure is in place, and implement a comprehensive air quality management program to protect public health and the environment.