Generators run using a fuel made from products including animal fat have been brought in ahead of the launch of 50 electric buses as part of the new Bee Network bus system.

A total of 50 new ‘zero-emission electric buses’ are set to operate from September 24, when the Bee Network bus services officially launch in Bolton, Wigan, and parts of Bury, Salford, and Manchester.

However, generators have been snapped at what is currently the Diamond Bus depot on Weston Street, Bolton – the depot where all 50 of the first buses are set to be based.

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) said the generators are being used as ‘a precautionary measure’, and that it remains ‘on track’ for electric charging infrastructure to be ready ahead of the Bee Network’s launch.

While the generators are labelled as taking diesel, TfGM insisted the fuel it will use to power them is ‘Enhanced Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil’ – a diesel replacement – and that it contains no palm oil, which is sometimes used in the manufacture of such fuels.

The Bolton News: The generator says it can take dieselThe generator says it can take diesel (Image: Submitted)

According to the product information leaflet, the John F Hunt Power ‘Green D+ HVO’ fuel is a “more sustainable, high quality of diesel fuel, that is suitable for all diesel-powered vehicles and industrial powered generators”.

The fuel can be made from animal fat from food industry waste, fish fat from fish processing waste, used cooking oil, technical corn oil, tall oil pitch, palm oil, tallow (a rendered form of beef or mutton fat), and palm oil mill effluent, according to the manufacturer – however, the fuel ‘does not contain or have any traces of virgin palm oil’, it clarifies.

The Bolton News: A total of 50 electric buses will operate from September 24A total of 50 electric buses will operate from September 24 (Image: TfGM)

Benefits of the fuel over diesel include lower emissions, with nitrogen oxide emissions ‘reduced by up to 30 per cent’, according to the manufacturer.

According to TfGM, Greater Manchester aims to have an ‘all zero-emission bus fleet’ by 2032.

A TfGM spokesperson said: “Ahead of the biggest change to public transport in Greater Manchester in almost 40 years, work to install the infrastructure needed to charge our new electric buses is on track for the start of Bee Network services from 24 September.

“As a precaution a generator – powered by Enhanced Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil, a fossil-free, paraffinic fuel made from 100 per cent renewable raw materials – has been delivered to the Bolton site while we test all equipment and to safeguard against any power outages.”