An order for 30 battery-electric double-deckers for the route 111 operated by Abellio London is believed to represent the first time the StreetDeck Electroliner will enter service in England.

Abellio is purchasing the buses directly from Wrightbus with no grant or external funding, says Head of Commercial, Abellio Bus Alastair Willis. The cost of ownership and operation will be covered through its contract process with Transport for London.

The buses will live at the operator’s depot in Twickenham, and will be the first 30 electric buses at that depot. Mr Willis says significant works will be undertaken to convert the depot to accommodate the buses, including high power DC chargers and a 3.6 megawatt grid supply which will allow for growth of further electric vehicles.

Each bus has been specified with the 454kW/h battery pack, enough for a full day’s operation, and high-spec Abellio interiors similar to vehicles recently launched on route 63, with high-back seating, skylights, wood-effect flooring and improved customer information screens.

“These buses will be the first 30 that are electric at Twickenham and as mentioned the first Wrightbus Electroliner vehicles for London,” says Mr Willis. “Once these buses are operation, 17% of the Abellio London fleet will be operating with EV buses, with 125 in operation across five of our six depots.

“We will be operating both the 111 and N111 with the electric buses, so some buses will be recharged during the day so they can operate the night service.”

Caetano electrics hit two million mile mark

In the meantime, 34 Caetano e.City Gold electric buses introduced on Abellio’s P5 and C10 routes in 2020 have clocked up two million miles, equating to 10m customer journeys and a saving of 3,647 tonnes of carbon emissions.

The vehicles operate out of the operator’s Walworth depot, the first of Abellio’s depots to operate electric buses.

“These cutting-edge electric vehicles further strengthen our position of operating one of the cleanest bus fleets in the UK,” says Abellio London Bus Managing Director Jon Eardley. “We meet the minimum emission standard of Euro VI for internal combustion engine vehicles, and more than half of our fleet of 900 buses are diesel-electric hybrid vehicles.

“We are committed to introducing further, best-in-class electric buses and look forward to making a significant contribution towards the Mayor of London’s vision of having a complete zero-emissions bus system in the capital by 2030.”

Adds Nuno Carvalho, Caetano UK Board Director and CCO at CaetanoBus: “We are delighted with this achievement on the e.City Gold electric bus, proving its operation within the London bus market. We look forward to working closely with Abellio London for the next two million miles on these vehicles and on future orders.”