Transport for London has announced that two further bus routes will operate entirely with electric buses from autumn next year.
It says the changes to routes 507 and 521 will lower carbon emissions and help improve London’s air quality.
The five year contract to operate the routes has been awarded to Go Ahead following a competitive tender process, and will mean that 51 electric buses will operate across the two routes that will become the second and third pure electric bus routes in the Capital. Go Ahead will confirm which manufacturer will supply the buses in due course. By 2020 all 300 single deck buses operating in central London will be zero emission (either electric or hydrogen) and all 3,000 double deck buses will be hybrid.
TfL says that, when fully converted, the electric buses on routes 507 and 521 will deliver a reduction of 408 tonnes of CO2 and 10 tonnes of NOx per year, when compared to single deck diesel buses. They are emission-free at tailpipe, and promise to provide passengers with an improved experience with lower noise and vibrations.
Today’s announcement follows the introduction of the first of two new electric buses, manufactured by Spanish company Irizar, into passenger service earlier this week. At a Global Clean Bus Summit hosted by City Hall in June, Mayor of London Boris Johnson also announced a world-first trial of a purpose built pure electric double deck bus that will begin in October.
The two Irizar single-deck buses will operate on routes 507 and 521, which link Waterloo station to Victoria and London Bridge stations respectively. The new buses will join two existing electric buses, manufactured by Chinese company BYD, on the Go Ahead-operated commuter routes in central London. Including the first Irizar bus now in service, there are currently 9 single-deck electric vehicles in the fleet will grow to 17 in September. Once the double-deck trial begins in October, there will be 22 total pure electric buses on London streets.
The Deputy Mayor of London for Environment and Energy, Matthew Pencharz, said: “The expansion of London’s electric bus fleet demonstrates our commitment to reducing emissions from public transport in London. The Ultra Low Emission Zone that will be introduced in 2020 is the most ambitious measure of its kind taken to tackle air pollution anywhere in the world, and it will transform our bus fleet into a cleaner, greener and more pleasant way of travelling for Londoners.”
Mike Weston, TfL’s Director of Buses, said: “TfL has always been at the forefront of deploying new, green technology in order to reduce harmful emissions from its bus fleet. I am delighted to announce that two further routes are to convert to fully electric operation – giving our passengers a quieter, smoother journey and also delivering significant environmental benefits. Electric buses represent another important step in our ongoing efforts to reduce emissions, significantly improving air quality in the Capital.”
By 2020, as part of the Ultra Low Emission Zone, TfL is committed to ensuring all 300 single decker buses operating in central London are zero emission (eg electric or hydrogen), and all 3,000 double deck buses are hybrid.