The pan-European passenger transport company, Arriva Group, announced a new Zero Emission Institute which will be led by a team of experts in fleet planning, to accelerate its journey to net-zero in partnership with cities and regions. The Institute will be a central hub of knowledge and expertise for passenger transport authorities and for Arriva’s business units, sharing pan-European experience and best practice in the roll-out of alternative fuels and transitioning fleets to zero emissions. This will help to build longer term decarbonization strategies alongside town and city transport authorities.
“This is a great moment for Arriva as it allows us to consolidate all of our expertise under one virtual roof. I feel proud of everything that’s been achieved already, but now we must look to accelerate decarbonization in Europe and passenger transport will be critical for this,” said Anne Hettinga, Arriva Group Board Member and Managing Director of the Netherlands.
The Institute plans to forge relationships and partnerships with a number of external organizations which will in turn build Arriva’s internal expertise and knowledge of the latest emerging technologies. Partnerships will include green energy companies, academic institutions, technological innovators, engineers, vehicle designers and manufacturers.
“Sustainable passenger transport solutions are a critical component of the journey to net-zero and partnership will be the key to achieving this. Governments, local authorities, operators, manufacturers, academics, engineers and energy providers will need to come together to innovate and solve challenges to ensure a faster transition. I’m excited about the role of my team and the contribution we will make under the banner of our Zero Emission Institute,” commented Matt Greener, Zero Emission Institute Director.
Arriva Group has a unique network across 14 European countries, more than any of its European competitors, each on different stages of the sustainability journey. This means it has experience in different types of alternative fuel technologies and knows the challenges to enabling sometimes complex transitions which require the right infrastructure in order to be successful. For example, securing the necessary grid capacity to fuel an electric vehicle depot can take years in some countries. As a leader in sustainable transport solutions, Arriva’s valuable insights will support the development of long-term strategies and investment for cities and regions.
The Institute has been set up to support Arriva’s vision to help shape a future where passenger transport is the best choice. To achieve this, partnership and clear government policies that encourage people to use public transport are essential. Modal shift to public transport will make a significant difference in the journey to decarbonization by reducing car use, which in turn reduces emissions in towns and cities. At the same time, adopting cleaner and greener fuel technology will ensure public transport makes its contribution to the EU’s goal to become climate neutral by 2050.
Arriva already operates zero-emission vehicles in most of its European countries, utilizing electric and hydrogen technologies, while it also operates vehicles using alternative fuels such as biomethane. These alternatives enable significant reductions in emissions while longer term decarbonization strategies take shape.
As part of its work, the Zero Emission Institute will also analyze the full lifecycle costs of vehicles and environmental impacts to tackle the necessary transformation of public transport networks, making them more sustainable and more affordable.
The initial focus will be on bus fleet transition, but the Institute will also be responsible for trains, buildings and processes. Arriva has already been involved in developing, trialing and implementing new hybrid train technologies in both the UK and the Netherlands. The rail industry presents some additional complexities with tracks still requiring electrification, which is traditionally the responsibility of railway infrastructure companies, not operators. This is why partnership will be critical to the future of sustainable transport.