Europe’s largest fleet of fully electric buses has gone into service in London, built in the UK as a partnership between Scottish bus maker Alexander Dennis Ltd (ADL) and Chinese constructor BYD.
The fleet was inaugurated last week at a special ceremony at London’s Waterloo bus garage, where the capital’s Deputy Mayor for Transport, Val Shawcross, and Xu Qin, the Mayor of Shenzhen, BYD’s home city, welcomed them into service.
The 51 new buses will be operated by Go-Ahead London from its Waterloo depot, servicing two Transport for London routes – 507 and 521. The order for the BYD ADL Enviro200EV buses follows a three-year trial of two BYD vehicles from the same garage and on the same routes. The trial proved that they could consistently run a 16-hour shift without a recharge being necessary.
The buses come with ADL’s lightweight aluminium body, manufactured in Falkirk, Scotland, and will feature USB charging points for customer convenience.
A total of 43 recharging posts capable of powering 46 buses have been installed in the depot, with a with a further five located at the nearby Mandela Way garage where five buses will be based.
According to TfL figures, roughly seven million passengers use buses on routes 507 and 521 every year. The buses covered in total over 1.1 million km (685,000 miles) in the year to April 2016. The BYD ADL Enviro200EV buses supplied to Go-Ahead can carry 90 passengers, 21 of them seated. They feature a regenerative braking system which feeds power from kinetic energy recovered during braking and deceleration back into the battery.
BYD is also trialling the world’s first pure electric double deckers – five are in service with London operator Metroline on behalf of TfL and future versions will be built in partnership with ADL.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said, “These first two electric bus routes right through the heart of London are another step towards the end of conventional diesel buses on our roads. This will deliver extensive air quality benefits and position us as a true world leader in adopting ultra-low emission vehicle technology.”