The delivery of up to 600 new bus for London vehicles over the next four years will represent the largest order of hybrid buses ever placed in Europe and will deliver significant environmental benefits for the British capital city.
The 600 buses represent a 200 per cent increase in the current hybrid bus fleet which is set to grow by a further 180 vehicles already on order. When the final batch of new bus for London vehicles is delivered in 2016 more than 1000 hybrids buses will be in service on the streets of London. The first batch of 30 buses, enough to convert a full route, will enter passenger service in April next year.
The new bus for London incorporates the most innovative and cutting edge hybrid technology and is the most environmentally friendly bus of its kind, benefitting air quality and reducing carbon emissions.
Hybrid technology, which combines batteries, a conventional diesel engine and an electric motor to propel the bus, typically delivers around a 30 per cent fuel efficiency saving and around 20 per cent reductions in NOx emissions. However, in testing the new bus emitted less than half the CO2 and NOx of a current diesel bus. The buses also deliver better than twice the fuel economy of a standard diesel bus. The introduction of the 600 buses will reduce CO2 emissions in the capital by around 20,600 tonnes a year.
The buses are manufactured by Wrightbus in Northern Ireland who won a contract in 2009 to build eight prototypes with an option to produce the first 1000 vehicles. Many components of the new bus, including engines, chassis, superstructure and seats, are manufactured in the UK.
In a departure from the current bus ownership model, TfL has also taken the decision to purchase the buses directly from the manufacturer. This will secure a better unit price by purchasing the new buses in larger numbers rather than a bus operator ordering in smaller batches on a per route basis. The buses will then be allocated to the bus operators, reducing contract costs as the operator will simply quote for staffing, fuel and maintenance costs.
The operational life of the New Bus for London is 14 years in service in London.