A purpose-built purely electric double-decker bus is to enter enter passenger service in London later this year.
London Mayor Boris Johnson announced the plans to introduce what is believed to be a world first in terms of double decker buses, as he hosted representatives and major bus manufacturers from across the globe at City Hall for the first ever global Clean Bus Summit. The double-decker will be supplied by Chinese manufacturer BYD.
And a full bus route, the 312 serving Norwood to Croydon in South London, is to have single-decker electric buses deployed on it. The Mayor said that the bus programme in London was seeing the removal of “throttling belching machines that emit fumes and groan like injured elephants.â€?
A statement from the Greater London Authority explained that many people “believed that a purely electric double-deck bus would not be possible due to the size of battery packs required to power it. However, by working with BYD and utilising the latest cutting edge technology London has been able to secure another world-first.â€?
The statement added: “The new electric double-decker trial will see the zero-emission electric double-deck buses manufactured by BYD enter service on route 16 from October, running between Cricklewood and Victoria Station.â€?
BYD is a Chinese developer of vehicles and BYD Europe is the marketing and distribution arm of the Shenzen based business. BYD Europe says it offers a full line of BYD electric vehicles, including all-electric cars, all-electric buses and all-electric forklift trucks.
London will also soon be welcoming two Irizar-manufactured electric single-deck buses. These new models join eight single-deck electric buses manufactured by Optare and BYD which have been used successfully in London’s fleet since 2013.
Since 2008, London has seen the introduction of more than 1,300 hybrid electric buses and also retrofitted more than 1,400 buses to reduce their emissions and developed the New Routemaster, claimed by the GLA “as one of the cleanest double deck buses of its type in the worldâ€?. There will be 800 New Routemasters on London’s streets by 2016 and they will reduce CO2 emissions in the capital by around 27,500 tonnes a year.
The GLA said this is part of the Mayor’s plan to halve NOx emissions from the bus fleet by the end of his term in office in 2016, compared to 2008. Cleaner buses have contributed to important steps forward in air quality for Londoners, including halving the number of Londoners living in areas above nitrogen dioxide limits, and a reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions by 20 per cent and emissions of particulate matter down by 15 per cent.