Tuesday, 30 June 2015

London Mayor announces the ‘world’s first’ double deck electric bus (With images)

Yes the 'World's first' purposely built
double deck electric bus.
Good Job BYD
This is a follow up to my previous article titled ‘2 new electric buses for London’.
The Greater London Authority has issued a press release about the ‘world’s first’ electric bus.
Released on 29th June 2015          
The world’s first purpose-built purely electric double-decker bus will enter passenger service in London this year, Mayor Boris Johnson announced today, as he hosted representatives and major bus manufacturers from across the globe at City Hall for the first ever global Clean Bus Summit.
The Clean Bus Summit and new trial underlines the Mayor’s continuing efforts to reduce emissions from London’s bus fleet, which is already one of the cleanest in the world.  And thanks to today’s summit, following London’s example will become more affordable for more cities.

In a major step forward, bus manufacturers including BYD, Volvo, Wright Bus, Optare Mercedes Evo Bus and Alexander Dennis attended the summit and committed to supporting cities in delivering fleets of new ultra-low emission buses. The World Bank and Green Investment Bank have also signed up to this commitment. This builds on the Global Clean Bus Declaration, developed by the Mayor in partnership with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, launched in Buenos Aires in March 2015.  Four additional cities - Amsterdam, Lima, Catalonia (Barcelona) and Rome – signed up to the declaration, which is still open for additional signatories, at today’s London summit.
Reductions in capital costs for new technologies like electric and hydrogen buses will be key in achieving their wider deployment.  The clear commitment by more than 24 cities and 10 non-C40 supporting cities to introducing ultra-low emission buses into their fleets will help demonstrate the demand needed to boost supply and affordability.  Working with bus manufacturers to accelerate the roll out of these cutting edge vehicles is a win-win for governments and their citizens, who get to enjoy the benefits of lower carbon and air pollution emissions savings achieved in a cost-effective way.
Since 2008, the Mayor has rolled out more than 1,300 hybrid electric buses, retrofitted more than 1,400 buses to reduce their emissions by up to 88 per cent and developed the New Routemaster, one of the cleanest double deck buses of its type in the world.  There will be 800 New Routemasters on London’s streets by 2016 and they will reduce CO2 emissions in the Capital by around 27,500 tonnes a year.
This is part of the Mayor’s plan to halve NOx emissions from the bus fleet by the end of his term in office in 2016, compared to 2008.  Cleaner buses have contributed to important steps forward in air quality for Londoners, including halving the number of Londoners living in areas above nitrogen dioxide limits, and a reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions by 20 per cent and emissions of particulate matter down by 15 per cent.
Many believed that a purely electric double-deck bus would not be possible due to the size of battery packs required to power it. However, by working with BYD and utilising the latest cutting edge technology London has been able to secure another world-first. The new electric double-decker trial will see the zero-emission electric double-deck buses manufactured by BYD enter service on route 16 from October, running between Cricklewood and Victoria Station.
London will also shortly be welcoming two Irizar-manufactured electric single-deck buses. These new models join eight single-deck electric buses manufactured byOptare and BYD which have been used successfully in London’s fleet since 2013.  The Capital's first pure electric bus route, the 312 – which runs between Norwood and South Croydon – will also be created later this year.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “The iconic red double-decker bus is about to become greener than ever. 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. London is a world leader in clean buses but we can’t do it alone, and events like this Clean Bus Summit are key to making further progress.”
Sir Peter Hendy CBE, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: “We have blazed the trail when it comes to green bus technology so it’s fitting that the first Clean Bus Summit should take place here in the Capital. Sharing best practice and working together with our colleagues from around the world really is the best way to reach our common goal of reducing emissions. The introduction of new electric buses and further developments like induction charging at termini for hybrid bus batteries will significantly improve air quality and provide our passengers with quieter and smoother journeys later this year. We continue to embrace new technologies as they develop.”
The 'iconic' design looks similar to any other conventional bus
C40 Chair and Mayor of Rio de Janeiro Eduardo Paes said: “Today’s Clean Bus Summit is an important step forward in making clean buses a reality in cities throughout the world, and represents a critical transition not only for our environment, but also for the health of our citizens. When C40’s Low Emission Vehicle Network launched the C40 Clean Bus Declaration at the C40 Latin American Mayors Forum in March, we hoped to see just the kind of leadership London is displaying today. Cities like London are leading by example, and manufacturers and stakeholders are taking note. We look forward to continued enthusiasm and progress around this important cause on the road to COP21, to be held in Paris in December 2015.”
As part of his Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) proposals, Mayor Johnson has committed that by 2020 all 300 single-deck buses in central London will be zero emission at tailpipe.  Furthermore, all 3,300 double deck buses in central London will be Euro VI electric hybrid, with the exception of a small number of Euro V Routemasterswhich nearly meet the Euro VI standard thanks to their superior design.
In order for there to be enough buses in the fleet to meet these requirements by 2020TfL has to start procuring these buses now.  Accordingly, the Mayor was delighted to confirm at the summit that all new buses joining the central London fleet are now ULEZ-compliant delivering vital emissions benefits well before the 2020 introduction date. This means the buses operating in central London will have to be either zero emission at tailpipe (single deck) or hybrid-electric (double-deck), and will be amongst the cleanest buses in the world.
The capital has also pioneered new technologies such as hydrogen and electric buses.  As part of these trials, TfL will be piloting inductive charging technology from October this year.  This means buses will be able to wirelessly charge their batteries while they wait at bus stands.  The technology will be trialled on three extended range diesel electric hybrid buses in east London on route 69 – which runs between Canning Town and Walthamstow bus stations.
This is a major boost for UK jobs and growth as the UK is a major manufacturer of ultra-low emission buses and supporting technologies.  These include Glasgow-based Alexander Dennis, Ballymena-based Wright Bus and Leeds-based Optare. The UK is also a leader in manufacturing retrofit equipment which can significantly reduce, by up to 88 per cent, the NOx emissions of older buses.  All of these companies were represented at the summit and participated in an exhibition showing their wares to the international delegates.
Now then, let me give the reader my opinion on this. Basically, the GLA and TFL are going to put an electric bus on London Buses Route 16, which currently has a mix of Alexander Dennis Enviro400 diesel and hybrid buses in operation. It's going to be interesting watching BYD roll out the ‘world’s first’ purposely built double deck bus into service, whereas currently, only their single deck products are operating on routes 507 and 521 using two electric buses.
I am still waiting for route 69 to unveil their diesel-electric hybrid buses which are manufactured by Alexander Dennis; they are suppose to be in service by now because we are in the Summer season.
The world’s first electric bus is actually from York
The press release from the GLA said “world’s first purpose-built purely electric double-decker bus”, which is true, but the first double deck electric bus is actually from York! The world’s first purposely built is actually made from scratch where as the existing electric double deck bus is converted from a conventional diesel bus. Please take note that the world’s first double deck electric bus is from York, before you confuse readers with the world's purposely built double deck electric bus from scratch, manufactured by BYD.
City of York Council partnered up with City Sightseeing Tour (operated by Transdev) where they successfully bid from the Department of Transport to convert their open top double deck bus to the world’s first electric bus. It cost the council £75,433 to convert the bus from diesel to a full on electric bus. TFL could have followed up that example from York, but London Buses actually gave funding to private bus operating companies to retro fit a fleet of over 1,400 existing diesel buses to cut emissions by 88%.
The Sheffield based manufacturer, which is the UK's largest supplier of hybrid and electric drive systems is called MAGTEC and they have retro-fitted the existing double deck bus from diesel to electric.
The body of the bus is built by East Lancs and it was new to Metrobus (London Bus Operator) in mid 1999. The registration of the bus is T407SMV and the fleet number (from Transdev) is 4009. The former fleet number from Metrobus was 407.
You can see more on the World’s first double deck electric bus from Yorkshire here.
Back to London now and the new Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) proposals. The GLA and TFL wanted to have all 300 single deck buses converted to electric buses by 2020. They also wanted the fleet of 3,300 double deck buses to be Euro VI hybrid electric by 2020 but they've said that a small number of New Routemaster hybrid buses have Euro V engines. They claim that they meet the Euro VI standard because of the design of the vehicle.
The problem is that Route 23’s contract is renewed for Tower Transit which starts on 14th November 2015. Their contract still requires them to operate with a mix of diesel and hybrid buses. However, TFL have to achieve their ULEZ goal by 2020 to have them all hybrid deck hybrids.
The problem with hybrid buses is they still emit diesel emissions and diesel is one of the causes of cancer which is affecting the general public worldwide. So TFL should have invested more in electric buses and also in more hybrid double decks. Instead of doing that they spent an estimated £286 million on the NewRoutemaster project where the public thought they could jump on and off between stops with the open platform. Unfortunately, the newer fleet has the new door modification where it opens outwards, just like the middle doors do. But the new modification will encourage manufacturers to build their own double decks with the ‘NRM feature’ without any problems because the earlier fleet had a lot of hassle with the rear back including the door.
TFL should really start expanding and investing in new Light rail systems, like extending the Croydon Tramlink for example (which is 15 years old,) and forming new tram systems in other parts of Greater London. The new Tram systems would take the stress off the buses and it may reduce traffic because Trams have priority over other road users. The trams are also electric so this is another way to reduce and combat diesel emitting buses.
Times change for TFL and London
The question is whether the changes are going to happen? I recently found out that Sir Peter Hendy CBE has been appointed as Chairman for Network Rail (which deals with railway infrastructure,) so his intention is to step down from his current role on 16th July 2015 and Mike Brown the managing director of London Underground and London Rail will step up to the acting TFL Commissioner position.
Another up and coming change will be in May 2016 when Londoners get to vote for the new Mayor of London. Boris Johnson is not running for Mayor again as he is ending his premiership for the London Mayor role. The question now is whether the new Mayor will be able to assert the required pressure to invest more into rolling out more electric buses and more ultra low emission buses in line with the ULEZ rule in 2020. Hopefully, someone new might step up and make the changes occur before the 2020 ULEZ rule? The answer is that it’s down to the people to decide and hopefully the candidates will have a policy which will change the bus fleet to eradicate the diesel emitting buses in Central London more quickly.
I have even seen cyclists in Central London wearing masks due to the emissions from diesel in vehicles ranging from buses to trucks. This is a sign of how the pollution is affecting Londoners.
I am grateful to the campaign called Clean Air in London for linking to my site from Twitter and from one of their articles, as well as Dave Hill from The Guardian for linking to my article in relation to the New Routemaster rear door modification.
Please follow me on Twitter, TumblrPinterest and Google Plus for updates which is @Clondoner92
Please note:
I am more of a writer for my website than a transport enthusiast as I do like to show the world how London Transport is progressing. My Twitter has been automatically Tweeting railway disruptions because I've been experimenting with Twitter Feed , which tweets RSS feeds. I've also been using it to post my articles onto Twitter automatically as well. I used to post traffic updates but I find it an annoyance to my followers, so I only tweet links to my content now, various news articles I find and railway disruption updates.

Next articleSpecs for the new BYD Double Deck Electric Bus compared to the New Routemaster 
Also See:
Images from
and yes I searched for them myself all thanks to translators. If the holder of the image want me to remove it, please let me know at the comments section below.

1 comment:

  1. The mayor & Tfl are, at the very least being economical with the truth.
    I can well-remember all-electic, zero-emission at vehicle double-deck buses in London.
    It's just that Tfl are attempting to deny their own history.
    They even have a sample of one of these buses in theor Covent Garden Museum & they looked like these images:


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