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Double-decker hydrogen bus unveiled for London

30 November 2016  •  Author(s): Katie Sadler, Eurotransport

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has unveiled the world’s first double-decker hydrogen bus which will be trialled on the streets of London as part of a drive to phase out pure diesel buses.

Double-decker hydrogen bus unveiled for London

Credit: Wrightbus

In a move to phase out diesel buses from the capital, the Mayor of London unveiled the world’s first double-decker hydrogen bus and announced that no further pure diesel double-deck buses will be introduced to London fleets from 2018. In addition, all new single-decks for central London will be zero-emission.

The new hydrogen double-decker manufactured by Wrightbus will be trialled on London roads from next year. The new bus was revealed at an International Zero-Emission Bus Conference and Summit at City Hall.

According to Wrightbus, the new technology provides a zero-emission drive system which encompasses a hydrogen fuel cell and a battery pack to power the vehicle. The combination of these two technologies makes the continuous daily operation of the public transport vehicle feasible. All Wrightbus hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will feature an electric drive axle packaged to allow a full flat floor throughout the bus, a zero-emission heating/cooling system, the ability for overnight charging if the operator desires, and remote diagnostics.

20 hydrogen buses delivered as part of a £10m part-EU funded project

In total, 20 hydrogen buses will be delivered as part of a £10m part-EU funded project supporting hydrogen technology. Transport for London will provide at least £5m in funding

Sadiq Khan is calling on other cities to follow London’s lead and work together to challenge bus manufacturers to produce more zero-emission buses and make cleaner bus technology cheaper.

To date, eleven major cities – including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Cape Town – have already agreed to begin moves to phase out their procurement of pure diesel buses by the end of 2020. Furthermore, Paris, Madrid and Mexico City have committed to removing diesel buses from their cities by 2025.

“I want London to become a world leader in hydrogen and electric bus technology”

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I want London to become a world leader in hydrogen and electric bus technology. I’m implementing hard-hitting measures to clean-up London’s toxic air and it’s great that more cities are getting on board to phase out the procurement of pure diesel buses which sends a clear signal that only the cleanest technologies are wanted in our cities.

“Transforming London’s bus fleet by accelerating the introduction of zero-emission buses is important and I plan to work with bus manufacturers, other cities, the European Commission and the C40 Climate Change Leadership Group of Cities to move this agenda forward.”

The Mayor has also called for all London buses to meet the Ultra-Low Emission Zone standard during 2020.

Mike Brown MVO, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: “We’re determined to make our public transport system one of the cleanest in the world and phasing out diesel buses lies at the heart of this. Zero emission buses are the future, and my staff are working hard with manufacturers and bus companies to make them a reality in the Capital as quickly as possible.”

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To help address the up-front capital and infrastructure costs of greener buses, the C40 Climate Change Leadership Group of Cities has announced it will host a Finance Academy in April to help cities unlock funding for more zero emission buses and the supporting infrastructure required. There will also be a new European platform to align funding opportunities and coordinate planning/procurement by EU cities.

Speaking at the conference, EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc said: “I congratulate the cities of London and Paris on their far-reaching plans to deploy clean buses. European cities are global frontrunners, and I encourage all cities to make use of European funding opportunities to support this transition. Better co-operation of public authorities, operators, manufactures and finance is needed now. Therefore, we are developing a deployment initiative for clean buses at European level, including a platform to better align planning and investment. I invite all relevant partners to come on board.”

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