World's first pure electric double-decker bus coming to London
The world's first purpose-built pure electric double-decker bus will enter service in London later this year, Mayor Boris Johnson announced on Monday.
Speaking at City Hall during the first ever global Clean Bus Summit, Johnson confirmed that two Irizar ultra-low emission buses would start running between Victoria Station and Cricklewood in October.
“The iconic red double-decker bus is about to become greener than ever,” said Johnson. “I could not be more pleased that London will play host to these exciting pure electric double-deck buses, and I’m sure the lucky users of route 16 will embrace it with gusto.
“London is a world leader in clean buses but we can’t do it alone, and events like this Clean Bus Summit are key to making further progress.”
Twenty four major cities have now pledged to introduce ultra-low emission buses, with the commitment intended to encourage bus manufacturers to embrace and develop the technology.
London’s Transport Commissioner Sir Peter Hendy said: “We have blazed the trail when it comes to green bus technology so it’s fitting that the first Clean Bus Summit should take place here in the capital.
“Sharing best practice and working together with our colleagues from around the world really is the best way to reach our common goal of reducing emissions.
“The introduction of new electric buses and further developments like induction charging at termini for hybrid bus batteries will significantly improve air quality and provide our passengers with quieter and smoother journeys later this year. We continue to embrace new technologies as they develop.”
Since 2008, the Mayor has rolled out more than 1,300 hybrid electric buses, retrofitted more than 1,400 buses to reduce their emissions by up to 88% and developed the New Routemaster, one of the cleanest double-decker buses of its type in the world.
As part of his Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) proposals, Mayor Johnson has also committed that by 2020 all 300 single-deck buses in central London will be zero emission at tailpipe.
The initiatives will go some way to placating clean-air campaigners who have described Boris’ progress on air quality as “pitifully slow”. In April, campaigners said London was lucky to have scored a C- in a Friends of the Earth air quality survey.
In related news this week, an initiative to 'make air pollution visible' has been launched in the capital in a bid to boost UK air quality.