In a bid to combat toxic air levels polluting the capital, Khan has moved to increase the number of electric double-deckers in London more than ten-fold, with the vehicles set to be added to Transport for London’s (TfL) fleet in summer 2019.

“In London we’re helping to lead the way with my Ultra-Low Emission Zone, and I’m delighted to be able to announce a Europe-leading new fleet of electric double-decker buses too,” Khan said. “We’re doing all we can to improve our air quality and we need the government to match our ambition to solve this national health crisis.” 

The new buses, which are being manufactured as part of a collaborative effort between BYD, Alexander Dennis Limited and British company Optare, will enable two routes run by Metroline from Barnet to central London to be covered entirely by fully-electric vehicles.

The move comes as part of Khan’s target of making all London buses zero-emission by 2037, which includes milestone goals of operating 240 e-buses by the end of 2019 and ensuring every single-decker bus is fully electric by the end of the following year.

It also follows hot on the heels of the London Mayor’s collaborative call with the mayors of Manchester, Liverpool and the West Midlands for ministers to bring forward their 2040 ban on new diesel and petrol vehicle sales by a decade, a move the group claims would cut air pollution levels by almost a third (30%) and potentially “boost the UK’s economy by up to £3bn”.

Mayors from those towns and cities are convening in London later today at a summit, to urge the government to tackle the nation’s growing air quality health crisis. The London Assembly hopes that decarbonising the capital’s public transport will help lower air toxicity levels, which have been at illegal levels in the capital and most urban areas in the UK since 2010.

Throwing diesel under the bus

The electric vehicle (EV) revolution continues to gather pace, with sales of EVs widely expected to account for more than half of all new car sales globally by 2040, according to new research from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

The BNEF report found that the advance of e-buses will be even more rapid than that of electric cars, with 84% of new buses sold worldwide set to be electric by 2030.

Other British public transport bodies to have greened their bus fleets in recent months include First Leeds, which has pledged to invest £71m in 284 new ultra-low emission buses by the end of the decade, and Arriva Merseyside, which last October introduced 12 e-buses to its Liverpool routes after investing £21m in greener fleets.

edie’s greening your fleets webinar

If you are interested in finding out more about how businesses across the country are embracing the unstoppable rise of EVs and e-buses to reduce emissions, incentivise employees and cut costs, you can tune in to edie’s upcoming ‘Green Fleets’ webinar on 4 July, which provides insight from UPS, the Cross River Partnership and UK Power Networks Services. You can register for the webinar for free here

Sarah George

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