51 electric buses to charge up streets of London
Transport for London (TfL) has announced that 51 all-electric buses will be entering service in the capital from autumn next year.
A five-year contract to run routes 507 and 521 was handed to operator GoAhead, with plans to make them the second and third all-electric bus routes in London.
TfL’s director of buses Mike Weston 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.”
When fully converted, the buses will deliver a reduction of 408 tonnes of CO2 and 10 tonnes of NOx per year, compared to single deck diesel buses.
The Mayor’s office has pledged £700m funding to ensure that 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.
However, there will only be 22 pure electric buses in London as of October 2015.
Two of the world's first purpose-built pure electric double-decker buses entered service in London this week, running between Victoria station and Cricklewood.
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.”
The recent flurry of measures to clean up London’s transport fleet has coincided with several condemnatory reports about the city's air quality.
The London Assembly Environment Committee, which holds the Mayor to account, said on Tuesday that Johnson needs to widen and strengthen his ULEZ proposals and eliminate diesel vehicle from the centre of the capital by 2020.
Furthermore, a report released on Wednesday by the Mayor’s own office estimated that air pollution was responsible for 9,500 deaths in the capital in 2010, the most recent year for which data was available.