Tuesday, 7 October 2014

TFL releases fuel consumption figures for the New Routemasters'

Routes 11 and 24 is reported to have the Lowest fuel consumption.
By Au Morandarte from Chiswick/Romford, London, England (So close, yet so far...Uploaded by Ultra7) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

TFL released a press statement on the 2nd October 2014 regarding Route 453 and it's conversion to the New Routemaster bus. What I find interesting is the fuel consumption figures that TFL have released.

Figures also released today show that the average fuel consumption of the New Routemasters in service is almost 50 per cent better than the buses that operated on the routes before them.
Fuel economy on the following routes has been measured and results have shown a significant increase in their average miles per gallon (MPG)
compared with the vehicles previously used:
·Route 11 - from 4.7 MPG to 7.4 MPG (57 per cent increase);
·Routes 24 and 390 (combined1) - from 5.4 MPG to 7.4 MPG (37 per cent increase);
·Route 9 - from 3.9 MPG to 6.2 MPG (59 per cent increase);
·Route 148 - from 5 MPG to 6.9 MPG (38 per cent increase);
·Route 10 - from 4.4 MPG to 6.5 MPG (48 per cent increase).

The introduction of New Routemaster buses is part of a comprehensive programme to reduce emissions from London's bus fleet which includes 1,700 hybrids on the street by 2016, accelerating the introduction of ultra low emission Euro VI buses and retrofitting older buses to reduce their NOx emissions by up to 88 per cent.

TFL haven’t released fuel consumption figures for Routes 38 (full conversion) and 8 because the route only converted to the New Routemaster buses a few months ago. During mid 2013, a Freedom of Information request showed that the prototype New Routemasters on route 38 achieved a fleet average fuel consumption of 6.74mpg.

The development of the New Routemaster which was tested at the 'Millbrook proving ground' achieved a fuel consumption rate of 11.6mpg. This however, is only a guide because where the New Routemaster is currently in service they have to manoeuvre around the streets of London and stop and alight at bus stops. The testing carried out at Millbrook is simple because the bus type is tested on private land without any traffic. You can see the video showing the development of the New Routemaster in action in this link.

Meanwhile, the hybrids on route 73 which use Volvo B5LH are achieving fuel consumption rates of 6.1mpg.  This shows that the competing hybrid bus models are showing good results regarding their fuel consumption. Now going back to my previous article, Volvo stated in their B5LH brochure “operators are able to save up to 30% on fuel costs” which shows that the new bus types are becoming lighter in weight and are increasingly more economical with the new Euro VI engine.

I'm waiting to see if a two door New Routemaster will be unveiled, then we would see a difference in the fuel consumption because the bus would be lighter without the rear door and staircase. There is a disadvantage though with the hybrid buses and that is the need to replace the batteries which would cost thousands of pounds to do.

If you think the fuel consumption is right for the New Routemaster or that there should be conventional hybrid buses instead then let us know in the comment section below. Also, don't forget that you can follow me on Twitter at:  @CLondoner92

Thanks for reading.


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