Clean vehicles strategy including new and retrofitted vehicles

Basic Information





The aim was to introduce clean fuel vehicles, to clean up existing vehicles in support of local air quality objectives, and to reduce the negative impacts of the transport system on public health and wellbeing.

Implementing sustainable mobility

Emissions of NOx and particulate matter (PM) are a major concern in relation to public health. Vehicles that run on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) produce low levels of PM, while electric vehicles produce zero emissions at point of use. Clean vehicle initiatives were therefore applied in Bristol to a number of fleets, including buses, council fleets and community minibuses. With respect to buses, it was clear that, given the operational life of these vehicles, it is important to clean up existing diesel vehicles as well as to introduce new clean fuel buses. The Bristol schemes also complement the council’s Clear Zones and Local Air Quality Management strategies.

The key stakeholders were the local bus operator First, Bristol Dial-a-Ride and Bristol City Council, and other transport operators. Also participating in an advisory capacity were the Energy Savings Trust, a non-profit organisation supported by the UK Government working to promote the take-up of cleaner transport.


Vehicles running on LPG were introduced into the council fleet, and electric pool cars were introduced in 2004 at two city-centre office sites. The city council also entered into an agreement with a private consortium to develop a hybrid diesel-electric engine. The process of retrofitting began with a review of the fleet of the transport operator First in order to select suitable vehicles based on age, type and operation.


Electric recharging points were introduced at city council offices in early 2004 to enable recharging of the city’s five G-Wiz electric pool cars. Despite the deployment of extra LPG vehicles in the council fleet it was found that existing LPG facilities at the council depot were able to cater for demand and no new LPG infrastructure was required.

Bristol Dial-a-Ride introduced five LPG vehicles in its fleet to provide door-to-door services for mobility impaired travellers. As part of VIVALDI, an agreement was reached allowing Dial-a-Ride to use the council’s refuelling facility.

The project met its goal of converting 50 vehicles owned and used in the Bristol area. Some 27 vehicles belonged to residents of the city of Bristol, while the others comprised 11 taxi drivers, nine city council employees and three small businesses. The measure therefore actively involved a wide range of drivers from across Bristol, using their vehicles for business and personal reasons.

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