Creating a biodiesel bus fleet
The public transport operator in Graz has converted all of its buses to run on 100 percent biodiesel, provided largely from the processing of waste cooking oil.
Implementing sustainable mobility
The annual consumption of 3.8 million litres of fossil diesel in buses in Graz resulted in large emissions of CO2. At the same time, waste oil from the catering industry and private households is hazardous to the environment if not disposed of properly. Addressing both these issues, this CIVITAS TRENDSETTER measure therefore aimed to demonstrate that biofuels are suitable options for city buses and car fleets and represented a first step towards the development of a clean-vehicle society.
Specific objectives were to:
- convert the entire public transport bus fleet in Graz to bio-diesel;
- reduce emissions from the public transport system;
- enhance the image of public transport; and
- support the collection of used cooking oil.
As part of its efforts to improve air quality in the city, the local public transport company carried out a series of technical, ecological and economic trials of 100 percent biodiesel operation. Following the success of these trials, its buses were converted to run on biodiesel or new biodiesel buses were purchased. In winter, the fuel requires additives and must be mixed with about 30 percent fossil diesel.
Graz collected used cooking oil on a large scale for conversion into biodiesel, which, along with biodiesel produced from rapeseed, provided fuel for the entire bus fleet of 120 vehicles. In order to improve the attractiveness and accessibility of public transport in Graz, buses were also redesigned and equipped with information screens, air conditioning and ramps for passengers with reduced mobility. Biofuel filling stations were opened and fuel quality and engine components are regularly monitored.
Graz is a pioneer city in biodiesel usage in urban public transport buses. The measure led to a reduction in emissions and allows independence from high oil prices. The success of the measure was largely due to the fact that biodiesel fuel is tax exempt.