This week, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announced the creation of the largest double-decker electric bus fleet in Europe, with 68 new electric double-deckers set to join the bus fleet in London. Mr Khan revealed that the number of electric double-deck buses in London will increase more than tenfold, and that two routes run by Metroline from Barnet to central London will be exclusively operated by electric double-decker buses. Optare will supply 31 all-electric double deck buses for TFL Route 134 running from North Finchley bus station to Tottenham Court Road to start operation next summer.
The innovative Metrodecker EV has been developed from the wheels up by Optare with support from its customers, vendors and partners. The unique integral space frame design of the Metrodecker EV means it weighs in at only a few hundred Kilos more than the diesel equivalent and has a plated GVW of 18000kg. The Metrodecker EV bus for London will carry over 90 passengers with a range of over 150 miles on a single charge.
Claire Mann, TfL’s Director of Bus Operations, said: “We’re committed to reducing emissions from London’s buses and making routes 43 and 134 exclusively electric is an important step to a zero-emission fleet. Buses are crucial to reduce Londoners’ reliance on cars, and with this landmark order it means the largest pure electric double-deck bus fleet in Europe will help reduce emissions across the capital. Electric buses are good for air quality and improve the customer experience, with less noise and fewer vibrations, all creating a more comfortable journey.”
Ian Foster, Engineering Director at Metroline, said, “Metroline is a dynamic and ambitious operator with 99 routes across London and we are pleased to lead in the implementation of London’s first all-electric double deck routes having been involved closely with this project from the outset.”
Robert Drewery, Commercial Director, said, “Optare has the largest parc of electric buses s in the UK with a decade of experience of working with operators across the country. Optare are delighted at the news of this order, which follows extensive in-service trials of the Metrodecker EV with a number of operators in London and other cities around the country over the last 12 months. The next generation Metrodecker EV destined for London is currently in testing before entering service trials later this year.”
Graham Belgum, Optare president said, “This order for our double deck product launched in November 2016 at Euro Bus Expo begins the next chapter in the Optare electric bus journey. The first Transport for London route to operate with solely electric buses began operation with an all Optare single deck electric bus fleet four years ago. Optare are delighted to be supplying their buses once again for the first all-electric double deck bus routes in London. However, the journey doesn’t stop here. We continue to develop and refine this technology. We look forward to bringing the next generation of electric buses to market later this year.”
This announcement follows the news last week of the first order for Metrodecker Euro 6 buses for Reading Buses.