“When we do that, we’re just outsourcing the problem, not solving it,” she says.
Hans is adamant about creating a better situation for the environment. “What we’re doing now is absolutely crazy,” he says. The buses sold to lower-income countries “go on polluting the air for 30 or 40 years. It hurts the environment, it hurts the people there, and it hurts the climate. This is a new colonialism that we are promoting with taxpayers’ money.”
More kilometres on cleaner fuel
The prototype CM Fluids bus now in use in Munich is a 20-year-old Mercedes model. Its diesel engine and drive train were replaced by the CM Fluids system, which has a small combustion engine that runs on liquified biomethane. The engine charges a buffer battery, which is further fortified by the energy captured by braking — a substantial source of energy in a vehicle like a bus, which is large and stops frequently. The battery drives the electric axel system, which powers the bus. A modified bus that uses the CM Fluids drive system costs about the same as a new diesel bus, Hans says. The cost is much less than the electric battery and hydrogen fuel cell buses used in some cities.
The company says a bus with its drive system can travel as far as 800 kilometres on a tank of fuel — compared with about 280 kilometres for a conventional electric bus. The CM Fluids buses produce 90 percent less particulate matter, compared with diesel buses, and at least 60 percent fewer nitrogen oxides.
CM Fluids has purchased a biogas plant and is creating a facility there to convert the biomethane into liquid fuel. The company plans to use existing liquified natural gas pumps at city bus garages as the fleet of CM Fluids buses grows.
“If we are to change the climate — and we must do it now and not tomorrow — then we should take every opportunity we have,” Hans says. “Let’s use all the resources and tools we have now in the most efficient way.”
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