In a bid to combat toxic air levels polluting London, the city plans to increase the number of electric double-deckers in London more than ten-fold, with the vehicles set to be added to Transport for London’s (TfL) fleet in summer 2019.
68 fully-electric double-decker buses have been ordered in a bid to create the largest fleet of its kind in Europe.
“In London we’re helping to lead the way with my Ultra-Low Emission Zone, and I’m delighted to be able to announce a Europe-leading new fleet of electric double-decker buses too,” London Mayor Sadiq Khan said. “We’re doing all we can to improve our air quality and we need the government to match our ambition to solve this national health crisis.”
The new buses, which are being manufactured as part of a collaborative effort between BYD, Alexander Dennis Limited and British company Optare, will enable two routes run by Metroline from Barnet to central London to be covered entirely by fully-electric vehicles.
The move comes as part of Khan’s target of making all London buses zero-emission by 2037, which includes milestone goals of operating 240 e-buses by the end of 2019 and ensuring every single-decker bus is fully electric by the end of the following year.
It also follows hot on the heels of the London Mayor’s collaborative call with the mayors of Manchester, Liverpool and the West Midlands for ministers to bring forward their 2040 ban on new diesel and petrol vehicle sales by a decade, a move the group claims would cut air pollution levels by almost a third (30%) and potentially “boost the UK’s economy by up to £3bn”.
Mayors from those towns and cities are convening in London later today at a summit, to urge the government to tackle the nation’s growing air quality health crisis. The London Assembly hopes that decarbonising the capital’s public transport will help lower air toxicity levels, which have been at illegal levels in the capital and most urban areas in the UK since 2010.