At Co-operative Energy, we’re committed to creating a more sustainable future for everyone – and we’re not alone! There are an increasing number of businesses working to make the world a better place.
As part of our Green Tech Heroes series, we wanted to shine a light on some of these exciting organisations and their innovative products and services. We also wanted to find out how they feel about the UK’s green tech market, as well as what the future holds.
Vantage Power manufactures complete hybrid powertrains for bus OEMs and as a retrofit solution for buses already on the road. We spoke to Vantage Power’s Office Manager, Rebekah Spencer, about what they do and their thoughts on the UK’s green technology landscape.
What does Vantage Power aim to achieve?
“Buses are a main method of transportation for cities all over the world, but diesel powered vehicles are also responsible for large quantities of pollutants that contribute disproportionately to air pollution, health and quality of life. Vantage Power designs and manufactures hybrid systems that can be retrofitted into diesel buses. Our technology reduces emissions, reduces fuel consumption by up to 40% and gives a more comfortable drive for passengers, all without the need for new buses to be bought.
“This means that we bring an affordable solution for bus operators to update and clean up their fleet, which allows them to comply with regulations to reduce air pollution and save money on their overheads. The operators also benefit from a new technology suite being added to their vehicles, which allows them to access real-time 24/7 information that can be used to optimise the performance of the vehicles, remotely diagnose any faults and carry out preventative maintenance to make the buses not only more environmentally friendly, but also more reliable.”
What do you think is hindering green technology adoption in the UK?
“There are a great number of things that hinder the adoption of green technology, from reluctance to change, to the feeling that our own efforts make no difference to the wider environmental problems.
“One of the big things that hinders the adoption of green technology in the UK is the misconception that to have greener technology you must either spend much more, or put up with a lesser quality product. What people don’t often realise is that a lot of green technology can save you money, especially in the longer term.
“For instance, laying aside the reduced outlay from retrofitting rather than buying new vehicles, Vantage Power’s hybrid system can reduce fuel consumption by up to 40%, which works out to be around £15,000 per bus each year. Also, in terms of the quality of products, greener does not mean less effective.
“Companies developing green technologies have been responding to the demand for quality, so we are seeing them overtake the abilities of their less environmentally friendly counterparts. Take something as simple as an energy saving lightbulb – initially shied away from because they were seen as not bright enough, or giving off a harsh light colour - these have now developed such that you can get a natural looking light that is bright enough for everyday use, and the bulbs can last up to 25 times longer than traditional bulbs. Similarly, the Vantage Power system has been extensively tested to make sure that it is fully reliable, with less noise and vibration, and so that it gives better driving quality than the old technology it replaces. With these and other emergent technologies, we’ll see that once people in the UK make the decision to adopt green technology, these misconceptions will fade and we won’t need to look back.”
What do you think the future holds for the green technology landscape in the UK?
“The future for the green technology landscape in the UK is extremely bright. We are already seeing a multitude of companies pushing forward with a host of innovative ideas, and with the support of government funding and progressive minded investors, these companies are rapidly moving from concept to real-life applicable products.
“Now that the need for cleaner air and looking after our environment has been brought to the forefront, the expectation of people in the UK is that we should be moving to a greener way of operating and this positive pressure is driving change. We can look forward to greener energy sources, less polluting road transportation and devices that bring down or offset our energy usage. At Vantage Power, we’re excited to be part of this future – saving the world, one bus at a time!”