London bus routes set to go 100% electric
A full electric operation of two London bus routes will be in place by 2018 thanks to a new partnership between Transport for London (TfL) and a French public transport operator.
A total of 36 zero-emission electric buses will ride along the C1 and 70 bus routes, which fall under the new Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) announced by London Mayor Sadiq Khan last year.
The infrastructure needed to park and charge the electric buses at Shepard's Bush depot will be developed by operator RATP Dev, which aims to convert the West London site into the capital's first all-electric fleet bus depot.
TfL managing director of surface transport Leon Daniels said: “We’re delighted to be working with RATP Dev to deliver greener buses for this city. They will help improve air quality and offer a better journey experience for customers. This is a momentous time as we help deliver the Mayor’s vision for cleaner, safer transport network.”
With London breaching its annual pollution limits in just five days in 2017, Khan has made the improvement of air quality in the capital one of his main priorities. The ULEZ is expected to be launched in 2019 and significantly reduce emissions of NO2 and particulate matter.
Earlier this week, the London Mayor, who also wants to create clean bus corridors and an emissions surcharge on the capital's most polluting vehicles, called on the UK Government to incentivise a diesel scrappage scheme for the public.
RATP Dev already operates 243 hybrid buses in London, along with 630 similar models on the streets of Paris, where it hopes to run a 100% low-emission bus fleet by 2025.
“RATP group is taking a clear stance as a European leader in the energy transition," the firm's chief executive Elisabeth Borne said. "We are proud to pursue these innovations on our London network and to be working alongside with TfL to build a more sustainable London. I am delighted at the progress made by our London business and look forward to working with Transport for London for many years to come.”
The announcement will come as welcome news in the same week that the European Commission (EC) sent a "final warning" to the UK for failing to address repeated breaches of legal air pollution limits in 16 areas including London, Birmingham, Leeds, and Glasgow.
A coalition of green groups including ClientEarth, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth (FoE) launched yesterday (15 February) to encourage the UK Government to take "urgent action" on air pollution through the creation of a new Clean Air Act.
The issue will undoubtedly be alleviated through the emergence of low-carbon vehicles, which secured a record share of the UK new car market last month.
The Low-Carbon Vehicle Zone at edie Live 2017
The adoption of low-carbon vehicles for company cars and distribution fleets is gaining momentum which the edie Live 2017 exhibition is going to be housing a brand new Low-Carbon Vehicle Zone.
The Low-Carbon Vehicle Zone will showcase some of the latest technologies and solutions from an array of vehicle manufacturers and suppliers throughout the two days of edie Live 2017 at the NEW Birmingham on 23-24 May.