Tootbus explores onsite solar to power EV fleet

Sightseeing bus firm Tootbus is exploring onsite solar a its depot in London, as part of its plans to convert its fleet in the capital to electric vehicles (EVs) by 2029.

Tootbus explores onsite solar to power EV fleet

Image: Tootbus

Tootbus this week announced a collaboration with electric fleet solutions provider VEV which will initially include the installation of 10 EV chargers.

These chargers will serve three electric buses which were recently converted from running on hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO). VEV will use a tariff to source 100% renewable electricity for the chargers.

HVO is a common choice for the transition away from diesel as it can be used as a drop-in solution with no changes to technology, but does still generate some tailpipe emissions.

Tootbus has been using HVO since 2021 but sees the fuel as a stepping stone on the journey to a fully electric London fleet by 2029.

Tootbus currently operates 42 buses in London. It is aiming to convert 33 of them from HVO to electric and will replace the remaining nine with new pure-electric buses this decade.

To support the charging of this EV fleet without adding to the load drawn from the National Grid, Tootbus and VEV are hoping to install onsite solar at the Tootbus depot in Wandsworth. Surveys and planning documents are currently being drawn up.

Should the solar array get the go-ahead, it will provide 65,000kwh of electricity each year. VEV claims this could power 60,000 kilometres of travel by Tootbus vehicles each year.

VEV chief executive Mike Nakrani said: “The bus and tourism sectors have a critical role to play in helping to decarbonise UK roads.

“As the transition to electrification is set to gain pace over the immediate and longer-term future, leading players in these sectors have recognised that going green is not only the right thing to do, but is also a competitive advantage and are keen to make the switch as soon as possible.”

VEV will also provide Tootbus with access to its smart energy management system which monitors power supply, charging infrastructure and vehicle use to recommend changes that would improve energy efficiency.

Tootbus UK’s managing director Gavin Brooking said:“Green tourism is at the heart of our business strategy and is an important investment for us. We recognised the enormous potential that switching to a complete end-to-end sustainable electric fleet could have in helping us achieve our emissions-reduction goals.”


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Comments (1)

  1. Richard Phillips says:

    As a retired chemist (not a pharmacist), I find “hydrotreated” hard to swallow.
    The process has always been “hydrogenation”, a high pressure process using a catalyst.
    May we please use the appropriate technical term which has been with us many decades?

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