Blue Bus Innovations has become the first company in the UK to operate compressed natural gas-powered (CNG) minibuses after ordering three IVECO Daily Line Hi-Matic vehicles.
The Luton-based start-up company is taking delivery of three 16-seater alternative fuel vehicles and three 19-seater Daily Tourys minibuses making it a 100 per cent IVECO fleet.
The gas vehicles provide Blue Bus Innovations with performance comparable to diesel. However, Managing Director Tazio Puri Negri was more impressed with their green credentials – producing 12 per cent fewer NOx emissions, 76 per cent less particulate matter and up to 95 per cent less CO2 emissions when fuelled using bio-methane.
He says: “We pride ourselves on being a responsible business. Whilst we strive to offer our customers the best service, we are also aware we need to minimise our impact on the environment.
“That’s why we turned to IVECO. Their natural gas offering is the best on the market and was the only choice for us as we get our business on the move. And with emissions restrictions set to get even tougher, we will look to increase our fleet of alternative fuelled minibuses.”
Blue Bus Innovations provides seats on its shuttle coaches from strategic pick-up and drop-off points in central London, to-and-from Luton Airport between 7am and 11pm daily.
With fares starting at £7.99, passengers travelling to the airport can pre-book their seats or reserve a space on-demand via the bluebus.app, which automatically creates a suitable pick-up point depending on their location. For passengers travelling back towards London, a suitable drop-off point will be selected within easy reach of their home address.
Blue Bus Innovations opted for a full IVECO Elements repair and maintenance package with supplying dealer IVECOI Retail in Croydon as part of the five-year lease arrangement through IVECO Capital.
The CNG vehicles (Daily 50C14GA8’s) are built on a 4,100mm wheelbase and are powered by IVECO’s 3.0-litre, 140 hp engine. Both passengers and driver will enjoy the benefits of the quieter gas engine – which is at least 4dB lower than its diesel equivalent, as well as cutting noise pollution, which is a major benefit particularly for late-night drop-offs.
The diesel-powered Tourys models (Daily 65C18HA8’s) are powered by a 3.0-litre, 180 hp engine. Also built on a 4,100mm wheelbase, they offer easy-to-reach, lowered luggage compartments with a capacity of 2.5m³. Each vehicle comes with leather Kiel Avance seats with three-point belts, internal LED lights and individual passenger air conditioning vents.
Both models have been equipped with the class-leading eight-speed Hi-Matic automatic transmission which guarantees maximum performance with low operating costs.
Offering absolute driving pleasure, the Hi-Matic gearbox is faster and more precise than a traditional manual transmission, offering gear changes without torque interruption and in less than 200 milliseconds for high-level performance. The Hi-Matic also returns an additional 2.5 per cent fuel saving versus the same specification vehicle with a manual transmission.