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Hybrid London buses that use batteries and a motor will now start recharging at stops, wirelessly. The inductive charge should mean the engine won’t need to be used as much, or at all.
The inductive charging, built into the bus stops, will be trialled by TfL in four stops in east London from next year. The special Enviro400H E400 hybrid buses, with wireless charging capabilities, will run on route 69 between Canning Town and Walthamstow.
By keeping the batteries topped up the buses should be able to run longer in battery mode meaning lower running costs and less environmental damage. The journey should offer less vibrations and noise while travelling too. The trial should help enhance the electric bus offerings in London.
There are currently six pure electric buses being tested in London also. The Mayor of London wants the city to be the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone by 2020. There are currently 800 hybrid buses operating in London with 1,700 expected in 2016 – making up 20 per cent of the total bus fleet.
Mike Weston, TfL’s Director of Buses, said: “We are continuing our assessment of new technology in the capital that can deliver genuine environmental benefits. This trial of extended range diesel electric hybrid buses, utilising the latest inductive charging technology, could be a step closer to getting even cleaner double deck buses on London’s streets. We will be closely monitoring the results of the trials, which may help us adopt this new cleaner technology more widely in London.”