All new single-decker buses for use within the center of town in London will be zero-emissions models from here on out, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announced at a recent public event.
The public event was the unveiling of the “world’s first” hydrogen fuel cell double-decker bus, which will be trialled in London in 2017. Khan also stated that no more diesel double-decker buses will be added to the city’s fleet starting in 2018.
Twenty of the hydrogen fuel cell hybrid electric buses mentioned above are expected to be added to the city’s fleet over the coming years, presuming everything goes well.
Engadget provides more: “London has a longer history with hydrogen-powered buses than you might think. The first trials of such vehicles started back in 2003, and they’ve been in regular service on the central London RV1 route since 2010. In recent years, greener, hybrid Routemasters have been introduced — not without some questions around how efficient they really are — as well as upwards of 50 all-electric buses.”
As a reminder, the city’s current plan is for around 300 new zero-emissions buses added to its fleet by 2020 — which would be in addition to the 79 or so currently in use in London.
Those goals are part of a broader push to clean up London’s air, which is of notably poor quality and responsible for the city’s relatively high rates of air pollution–related illnesses and disease.
Accompanying the switch to zero emissions buses, the city is also working to clean up its black cab taxi fleets — from 2018 onwards, for instance, new taxi licenses in London will only be issued to taxis that are zero emissions capable (plug-in hybrid, all- electric, etc.).
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