Central London’s first two all-electric bus routes will be running by the end of 2016, supported by a fleet of 51 single-decker electric buses, according to a recent announcement from Transport for London and Mayor Sadiq Khan.
What this means (in addition to cleaner city air) is that, once the routes are up and running, London will be home to the largest electric bus fleet in Europe. The first 9 of this new electric bus fleet were unveiled recently in a PR event.
As we reported previously, this new fleet will be composed of electric buses manufactured in the UK by the Chinese giant BYD and the local manufacturer ADL. This fleet will join the 22 electric buses already in service in Outer London — specifically, in Croyden, on the region’s first electric bus route.
Altogether, this makes for a total electric bus fleet number of 73, substantially more than almost any other region in Europe.
Transport for London and London.gov.uk provides more: “routes 507 and 521 will exclusively run a 51-strong fleet of all-electric buses by the end of the year. … The buses will also be the first to include screens showing the next five stops and how the Tube and Overground is running, as well as 12 seats with USB sockets to help passengers charge their phones.
“The phased delivery of the 51 buses marks a significant step forward in the Mayor’s comprehensive plan to transform the capital’s bus fleet. This plan includes all 300 single-deck buses that travel through central London to be zero emission by 2020, and all 3,100 double deck buses to be hybrid by 2019.”
The moves are intended to help address the city’s substantial air pollution problems (not compared to cities in China and India perhaps, but still substantially polluted), as well as to “position London as a world leader in adopting ultra-low emission vehicle technology,” according to London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
“The transformation of London’s bus fleet will play a key role in making our transport cleaner and healthier,” Khan was quoted as saying. “These first two electric bus routes right through the heart of London are another step towards the end of conventional diesel buses on our roads.”
Here’s a video featuring CleanTechnica director and chief editor Zachary Shahan on why electric buses make so much sense: