Flix and Scania have revealed a lasting alliance aimed at promoting sustainable long-distance biogas travel. This partnership represents an avenue to expedite the shift towards environmentally friendly mobility by fostering innovative solutions and shaping essential infrastructure developments.
As a first objective, the two companies aim to equip up to 50 LNG (Liquefied gas) coaches of the Flix bus partners in their fleet. The technologies used, developed, and manufactured by Scania, are devised to allow the use of LNG and Bio-LNG (LBG) interchangeably to facilitate the transition toward the most sustainable gas solution.
In the initial phase of the project, the coaches will run on different fuel mixes of bio and fossil origin. The goal of the project is to progressively increase the share of Bio-LNG (LBG) from organic waste in such mixes until the coaches fully run on Bio-LNG, resulting in an expected CO2 emission reduction rate of around 80% on average. This objective falls within the framework of Flix’s long-term goal of carbon neutrality.
The outfitting of the coaches is expected to be completed by the end of 2025. Irizar, the global bus and coach manufacturer, is integrating the Irizar i6s Efficient with the Scania chassis.
Scania’s previous experience with biogas buses has already made it possible to strongly cut CO2 emissions compared to diesel along with lowering noise, while still relying on the power and torque of equivalent diesel engines. These advantages make biogas a viable and circular option for long-distance actors seeking to profitably increase their sustainable performance.
“Climate change is increasingly taking its toll on the planet and people’s lives, and as a global travel tech company we are aware of our responsibility in paving the way for a more sustainable future for the communities we serve. Therefore, we are eager to seize any viable opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint on the environment, with fleet transformation being crucial to this end. Scania is an extremely valuable ally for Flix and our bus partners, who operate the business, in different countries, and we are happy to be able to rely on their long-term expertise and know-how to contribute to reshaping long-distance mobility. In time, this will also help us adapt our offering to the rising demand for low-impact travel options from a public that is growing more and more environmentally conscious by the day,” commented Fabian Stenger, Chief Operating Officer at Flix.
“Our ambition is to be a front-runner in the shift towards sustainable transport, and this collaboration with Flix represents a significant step in that direction. Biogas solutions are truly circular, and they are possible to implement here and now, providing a sustainable solution today that meets climate targets and reinforces social responsibility. The LBG/LNG coaches also represent a smart and sensible choice, because they supply the range and power needed to support any route, at low cost in terms of both investment and operating economy. We are extremely happy to do this jointly with Flix as we know that a wide implementation of biogas solutions can have such a positive impact, not only for the operator but also for authorities and society at large,” says Johanna Salomonsson Lind, SVP and Head of People Transport Solutions at Scania.
Indeed, Flix and Scania are constantly looking at ways of reducing their impact on the environment with a scientific approach, and both players are committed to the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), which provides companies with a clearly defined path to reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement goals.
Flix’s participation in SBTi relates to its newly announced commitment to full decarbonization in Europe by 2040, well ahead of the timeframe set by the Paris Agreement. This long-term objective is being pursued by enacting a holistic four-principal climate strategy, where fleet transformation plays a crucial role through alternative drives and fuels. Among these, biogas technologies have great potential and are already set for use and ready for scale-up in the FlixBus fleet. Of course, the availability of refuelling infrastructure in Europe plays a crucial role in making biogas a valuable energy source.
As the first major manufacturer of heavy commercial vehicles to commit to the SBTi, Scania’s far-reaching climate targets commit to cut CO2 emissions from internal operations by 50% by 2025 and supporting customers to reduce emissions from products in use by 20% during the same period.
Biogas: why choose it and what are the advantages?
Using biogas comes with several benefits at the environmental as well as at the social and economic levels. It is fossil-free, renewable, and locally produced, and cuts emissions. Moving from compressed biogas to the liquified form makes it possible to carry more fuel and thus enhance the range capacity.
By switching to locally produced liquid biogas as fuel in long-distance transport, operators can substantially reduce both their own and their customers’ climate impact. Air quality in general is also positively affected by using Scania’s gas engines. It will reduce emissions of particles and nitrogen oxides (NOx) and run more silently. This benefits both drivers and passengers and the society at large.