More on London’s electric Buses

More on London’s electric Buses

FRANK BEETON updates us on the rapidly developing electric-bus situation in London, England.

Two months back, we wrote about the return of electric buses to the streets of London. That story was prompted by the announcement that Chinese manufacturer BYD Inc. had been contracted to supply “up to five” battery-electric double-deck buses for trial by Transport for London.

We also noted in the article that BYD had already supplied two all-electric single-deck buses to London in 2013, as part of the city’s strategy to improve its air quality situation. Notably, these vehicles have proved capable of completing a day’s route service on a single battery charge.

The story has moved on rapidly. It was subsequently announced at the end of July that a £19 million (R403 million) order for 51 all-electric single-deck buses had been placed on a partnership between BYD and British bus builder Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL).

The chassis will be supplied by BYD, and ADL will fit them with 90-passenger bodywork based on its Enviro2000 design.

The vehicles will be operated by Go-Ahead London, on routes 507 and 521 between Waterloo and Victoria, and are scheduled for delivery by the end of August 2016. The deal includes a full on-site repair and maintenance programme.

The proven performance of BYD’s pure electric buses under London’s severe operating conditions was cited as a major reason for the awarding of this contract to the Chinese manufacturer.

BYD’s electric vehicles notably make use of long-life-cycle iron-phosphate batteries, with a low rate of degradation. BYD’s parent company manufactures LED lighting; photovoltaic cells and advanced, environmentally friendly battery technologies.

Once delivered, this order is expected to be the single largest fleet of full-size electric buses in Europe.

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