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World's first pure electric double-decker bus is nearly here, destination London


London bus

The world’s first entirely electric double-decker bus is going to hit the streets of London at some point in 2015.

That’s according to Mayor Boris Johnson, who announced the hi-tech eco-bus would be coming soon at the global Clean Bus Summit.

There are already 1,300 new hybrid buses roving London’s streets, and a further 1,400 have been retrofitted to reduce emissions by 88 per cent.

It’s all part of the Mayor’s plan to halve bus emissions by the end of his term in office in 2016, in contrast to 2008 levels.

It was previously thought that an all-electric double decker bus would not be workable due to the size and weight of the battery packs that would be required to power it.

The new bus has finally been completed however, and will roll out later this year along route 16, which runs between Victoria Bus Station and Mora Road in Cricklewood.

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“The iconic red double-decker bus is about to become greener than ever,” said Boris. “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.”

He added: “London is a world leader in clean buses and we can’t do it alone, and events like this Clean Bus Summit are key to making further progress.”

Along with 24 other cities, Boris committed London to a rollout of 40,000 ultra-low emission buses by 2020.

Alex Mason

June 30, 2015, 10:40 am

This is interesting. Where I work, we look at converting diesels to run on natural gas (dual fuelling, not wholesale conversion to mono-fuel gas as that requires structural changes to the engines). The prime benefit is of course, being cheaper to run but equally CO2 can be reduced (for what its worth) and particulates are drastically reduced.

Now we've been picked up by a larger company who do look at hybrids, fuel cells and electrification, but the idea behind our acquisition is that large HD diesel engines like you find on buses and trucks are difficult to replace with fully battery electric systems because the power density isn't there. The electric motors exist (not sure how heavy they are though) but the battery packs would be drained in no time unless they are vast.

I suppose though, part of the problem is simply packaging. So if they started with a clean sheet, perhaps they could work it.

Anyway, be interested to see this. Its the only way to sort out inner city emissions issues caused by large and heavy vehicles without also banning them from city centers.

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