Transport for London (TfL) is making a bold move with the introduction of the world’s first zero-emission, long-range, all-electric BYD Double-Decker buses into revenue service routes.
TfL celebrated the historic decision to deploy its first all-electric double decker buses with a special ceremony at London city hall this week with London’s Deputy Mayor of Environment and Energy, Matthew Pencharz formally receiving the first bus from BYD Europe.
TfL and Metroline will receive support from BYD with the installation of fast charging equipment at Metroline’s Willesden Bus Garage in north London. Additionally, BYD will provide driver training for the bus operators. BYD, the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer, designed and developed the vehicles to Transport of London’s specifications. The five buses scheduled for deployment are more than 33 feet long and feature air conditioning, seats for 54 passengers with space for 27 standing passengers (81 total).
“It’s a very exciting moment that this is happening here,” said Matthew Pencharz. “The running costs are much lower and some of the maintenance and operations costs are much lower on the buses. Also, these [buses] are zero-emission, zero-tailpipe-pollution and that is a huge benefit for Londoners.” TfL is putting five of the all-electric double decker buses on Route 98 operated on behalf of TfL by Metroline. Route 98 was chosen given its status as a pollution hotspot in the city.
The electric buses are equipped with BYD-designed and built Iron-Phosphate batteries, delivering 345 kWh of power that come with a Industry-benchmark 12 year battery warranty, the longest electric battery warranty available. The batteries can power the bus for over 24 hours and up to 190 miles of typical urban driving on the service routes with a single daily recharging requiring only four hours. TfL plans to charge the buses overnight using low-cost, off-peak electricity to provide additional cost savings.
“BYD is pleased to partner with Transport for London to provide these zero-emission, advanced technology buses that will help improve air quality in the greater London area and will also provide costs savings,” said Isbrand Ho. “TfL challenged us to develop a clean, all-electric bus that would meet their service requirements, and we’ve done just that. I hope other transport agencies take note of TfL’s leadership and see that there are no barriers to deploying all-electric buses into service in today’s market.”