TfL to have Europe’s largest electric double-decker fleet

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced the creation of the largest double-decker electric bus fleet in Europe, as he brought together city leaders from across England and Wales for a national air quality summit.

Transport for London (TfL) says that 68 new buses – split between ADL/BYD (37) and Optare (31) – will be bought by Metroline and added to London’s fleet next summer.

They will be used on routes 43 (Friern Barnet-London Bridge) and 134 (North Finchley-Tottenham Court Road) run by Metroline, which will become exclusively operated by electric ‘deckers. 

The ADL/BYD 10.9m Enviro400EV City buses will be used on route 43, with the Optare Metrodecker EV buses on route 134.

The buses will be based at Holloway garage, being converted to electric charging ready for the introduction of 23 single-decker 10.8m ADL/BYD Enviro200EV buses entering service very shortly.

Five Chinese-built BYD electric-deckers have been operating with Metroline on route 98 (Willesden-Oxford Street-Holborn) since October 2015, and have since covered 100,000 miles.

Claire Mann, TfL’s Director of Bus Operations says: “Making routes 43 and 134 exclusively electric is an important step to a zero-emission fleet. This landmark order delivers the largest pure electric double-deck bus fleet in Europe.

Next year, TfL aims to have 240 electric buses running on the network and for all new double-deck buses to be zero-emission or hybrid, with every single-deck bus in central London to be zero-emission by 2020. Ultimately, by 2037 all buses in London will be zero-emission.

In total, TfL’s operators run 8,700 buses, of which 6,800 are double-deckers.

The announcement comes as cross-party leaders from towns and cities in England and Wales join together to urge the government to tackle the nation’s growing air quality health crisis.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, says: “Today’s summit is a historic moment for the country. Leaders from across England and Wales have never met in such numbers to tackle our nation’s toxic air quality. It shows how serious our problem is and how committed we are to tackling it.

“In London we’re helping to lead the way with my Ultra Low Emission Zone, and I’m delighted to be able to announce a Europe-leading new fleet of electric double-decker buses too. We’re doing all we can to improve our air quality and we need the government to match our ambition to solve this national health crisis.”