Transport for London and bus operator Go-Ahead London have begun a trial of the capital’s first electric buses. The 12-meter single-deck buses, built by Chinese manufacturer BYD, are now operating on routes 507 and 521, busy short commuter services that connect Victoria, Waterloo and London Bridge stations, and are seen as particularly suitable routes for battery-electric buses.
The electric buses join around 600 hybrid buses and a couple of experimental hydrogen-powered units to support the Mayor’s vision of a central London Ultra Low Emission Zone. “Electric buses could help deliver the cleaner and greener bus fleet we need to cut carbon emissions and improve air quality,” said Matthew Pencharz, a Senior Advisor to the Mayor. “If these prove successful we plan to see more introduced over the next few years.”
The buses take four to five hours to fully charge overnight, and should have a range of 250 km, sufficient to operate for a full day on these routes without recharging. BYD’s tests demonstrated potential running cost savings of 75 percent compared to legacy diesel buses. Six additional electric buses will join Transport for London’s fleet in early 2014.