World's first zero-emission double-decker bus to arrive in London this year
London's public transport network is about to get a lot greener, with Mayor Boris Johnson announcing that the world's first purpose-built pure electric double-decker bus will hit the city's streets later this year. The announcement was made at the Clean Bus Summit, where 24 cities around the world committed to putting ultra-low emission buses on the road.
Public transport in the UK's biggest city has been inching toward a greener future for years now, announcing its first hybrid buses back in 2009. There are now more than 1,300 of those on the streets of the capital, and it's time for the next big step.
The new all-electric buses were produced in conjunction with BYD, which worked on the tricky problem of fitting enough batteries into the zero emissions vehicles to provide enough power.
There's no mention of exactly how many all-electric buses are heading for London, but the first is due to arrive in October, which will enter service on route 16 in October, running between Victoria Station and Cricklewood.
It's not just London that's revising its public transport infrastructure for the better. The move forms part of a wider effort, with 24 cities around the world planning to put 40,000 ultra-low emission buses on the road by 2020.
Source: Mayor of London
Please keep comments to less than 150 words. No abusive material or spam will be published.
And how does it compare to trolleybuses?
What you suggest for China would not work out with the current energy mix, which consists mainly of coal-fired power plants to generate electricity. More electric vehicles on the road to replace ICE would just lead to even more coal-fired power plants being built due to the extra demand. It would be replacing the pollution by burning petrol with that of coal, which is arguably worse (with the amount of mercury that would be emitted).
China would need to install an unprecedented amount of kW installed capacity for solar/wind/nuclear power to improve the air in Beijing. Coal is cheap and more abundant compared to natural gas and oil, so the initial high capital costs of building a coal-fired power plants mean that the Chinese investors would like to see more coal being burned.
An expanding economy will see its energy consumption rise in similar fashion. The energy appetite of China is primarily met by building more coal-fired power plants.
London will definitely benefit from these buses as the air quality will go up. That doesn't mean the pollution of the buses will disappear however. A substantial fraction of UK electricity is met by burning natural gas, which is a lot cleaner than coal. The extra electricity consumed by these new buses will also come from gas-fired power plants. The picture is a lot better in the UK than in China, though.
Australia is starting to slip further and further behind the rest of the world, but with religious fundamentalist climate deniers running the country, it's to be expected.
The cost of installing roadside pylons to hold the overhead power cables, is absolutely minimal compared with the cost of these electric buses. I will investigate but it wouldn't surprise me if these buses are made in China, and must cost an absolute fortune. I wonder how many will actually be purchased, because there are thousands of buses in London.