Sunday, 28 June 2015

2 New Electric buses for London

Irizar and Go-Ahead, Londons biggest bus operator, have signed an agreement for two Irizar i2e electric buses to be put into operation in London from the end of July.
I am unable to copy the text from the press release from Irizar because the PDF file is from images instead of text, so you can view it here.
From Route One magazine:
By placing electric buses in the UK, Irizar not only shows its capacity for adapting to the needs of markets and operators but also reaffirms its intention of positioning
itself as market leader in urban mobility with the firm commitment to contribute to the sustainability and improvement of city environments. Thats the key message from the manufacturers Spanish HQ .
It follows last months announcement that two Irizar i2e electric buses are to go into operation in central London. Irizar and Go-Ahead, Londons biggest bus operator with 25% of the regulated market, have signed an agreement for two Irizar i2e electric buses to be put into operation in London from the end of July.
Says Irizar’s Electromobility Manager Hector OlabegogeaskoetxeaThis is an important step for Irizar because it helps us develop a product and service which meets the demanding specifications of Go-Ahead and the regulations in the UK, as well as providing the safety, reliability, comfort and autonomy of all Irizar products.
The Irizar i2e buses are fully manufactured with Irizar groups own technology, and add to those delivered in Europe in 2014. The all-electric buses will go on to high-intensity routes 507, connecting Waterloo station to Victoria Station, and 521, connecting Waterloo Station with London Bridge Station.
Mike Weston, TfL’s Director of Buses, says: London has always been at the forefront of adopting and trialling new green technology. As the number of electric buses in our fleet grows we are learning more about how they can help us to improve services and benefit our customers.
Irizar has taken advantage of its ability to adapt manufacture of buses and coaches to demanding specifications by configuring the vehicles for TfL and Go-Ahead with 26 seats and one wheelchair space, to give a total passenger capacity of 60. The vehicle will incorporate the on-board fleet management systems and telemetry that are standard in London bus operation.
Go-Ahead London Engineering Director Richard Harrington says: Londons buses are in the process of being transformed into the most environmentally friendly fleet in the world. We were the first operator in the capital to run pure electric vehicles and 18 months of reliable service has proved this form of power is a viable solution.Irizar’s entry into this market is welcome and I look forward to working with them to deliver benefits to all Londoners.
The 12-metre buses have a continuous low floor and two double doors, with an electric ramp at the centre door. The 180kW electric motor is driven by batteries with 282kWh of storage, giving a range of 99-112 miles under typical London traffic conditions. As a new feature, they also incorporate a heating/cooling unit for the driver area and anti-vandalism locks.
The i2es are the first buses handled by Irizar subsidiary Irizar UK, better known as sole UK supplier of its coach range. Director Steve ONeill says: Our new Bus Project Manager, John Horn, has brought his vast experience in bus sales in the UK to Irizar’s bus team in Spain to ensure these vehicles are appropriate for the London operating environment, and we are confident they will continue the success in Europe.
Going forward, we expect to see rapid development of i2e sales in the UK, with a number of local authorities showing an interest in running emissions-free buses in urban and metropolitan areas.
I have found out that the cost for each electric bus is £450,000 per bus. This brings the total to £900,000 for two new electric buses, which is nearly a million pounds.
This is still an achievement as removing the diesel buses off the road will improve the health of the people as diesel fumes have been linked to cancer.
Currently there are two electric buses for routes 507 and 521, manufactured by BYD. This means that in the near future the electric bus fleet will increase to four, once the two new electric buses manufactured by Irizar take to the road.
London Buses route 312 will be fully served by electric buses manufactured by Optare, which commences on September 2015. I would like to see more routes converting to electric buses because I saw the recent tender renewals which says existing double deck diesel buses.
Here are the tender renewals from LOTS from 17th June.
The following TfL contracts have been announced today:
      Tranche 501
·         80 - re-awarded to London General with existing Euro 4 diesel single deck, PVR 16, start date 5 December
·         93 (24 hour) - re-awarded to London General with new battery hybrid and existing Euro 4 diesel double deck, PVR 25. Start date 5 December
·         151 - re-awarded to London General with existing Euro 4 diesel double deck, PVR 14. Start date 5 December
·         154 - re-awarded to London General with existing Euro 4 diesel double deck, PVR 14, start date 5 December. Includes 24 hour weekend service, subject to consultation.
·         163 - re-awarded to London General with existing Euro 4 diesel single and double deck, PVR 14, start date 5 December
·         164 - re-awarded to London General with new flywheel hybrid single deck, PVR 12. Start date 5 December
Tranche 502
·         184 re-awarded to Arriva London North with existing Euro 4 diesel single deck and Euro 5 diesel double deck, PVR 20. Start date 6 February 2016.

The 'Hybrids' are a start but they still emit diesel emissions in small particles. Hybrids are not the solution to having clean air in London and I think that TFL should invest more money to help bring the electric bus project to fruition quicker. Personally, I would like to see more tender renewals with new hybrid double decks as well as electric buses on the Tranche list.
Again, here is the mini fleet list of the electric buses currently operating in London.
Fleet Number
Go Ahead London
Go Ahead London
London United
London United
London United
London United
Arriva London
Arriva London

With the Ultra Low Emission Zone for Central London, TFL has proposed in a consultation that they want to impose a zone where selected vehicles are not allowed to enter into the Central London zone; this would be in conjunction with the Congestion Charge. TFL proposed that all double deck buses will be hybrids and singledeckers are to be zero emission which would be hydrogen or electric buses.
London does indeed have hydrogen buses which are Wright Pulsar 2 Hydrogen-powered. Currently there are eight of them for route RV1 which has a Peak Vehicle Requirement of 9 buses, so a minority of the buses on the route are operated by diesel buses. So this could be an ideal alternative to diesel as the hydrogen buses may be cheaper to order than electric buses.
The New Routemaster project is still ongoing as we're yet to see routes 91, 149, 159 and 168 convert to New Routemasters. I say again that the estimated cost for the New Routemaster project is £286 million and with that amount you could extend a tram line or buy a fleet of electric buses.
The New Routemaster is ditching their open platform with 2nd crew member, it's more of a three door and two staircase bus. We are still yet to see if anymanufacturer's will unveil their design with NRM features.
CityTransportInfo has released a YouTube video discussing matters concerning pollution, as well as cycling. In the video it mentions that the Dutch government are planning to do away with diesel buses completely, which is a start.
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