As I wrote last week the environmental impact is not a health issue alone. Below, I allow the scope to be broadened to cover also energy use and carbon dioxide emissions. The total scope now coinceedes with the European Directive on “Promotion of clean and energy efficient vehicles” Read about the directive here
When we compare the scope to the total life cycle impact we can conclude that now only raw materials from the production are missing in the total life cycle impact of the bus. The raw materials contribute by less than 10% of the total environmental impact of the bus, when the recycled materials are subtracted.
If a rule is introduced to not accept buses older than 10 years. I.e. the fleet will have 15 buses from each of the years 2000-2009. The society will gain € 290 000 each year in decreased environmental cost. While if we compare to a new fleet of 150 buses the yearly saving would be € 940 000. And, a hybrid bus fleet containing 150 Volvo “7700 Hybrid” buses would decrease the environmental load by some € 2 100 000 on a yearly basis.
The conclusion from the excercise is that not only health benefits are achieved but substantial cost savings can be gained by swithing to newer buses or to the Volvo hybrid bus.
The pay-back on the investment for the latter is about 5 years!