15 open-top tri-axle double-deckers in the Tootbus fleet in London are to receive repower work from Magtec to convert them to battery-electric propulsion. It represents further growth of the move to zero-emission in the sightseeing market.
The vehicles, which are all 2011 Volvo B9TL models with Optare Visionaire bodywork and are rated at a 23,000kg GVW, will gain Magtec’s own driveline coupled to 280kW/h of energy storage. That is sufficient for the Tootbus application, which calls for “more than 70 miles” of range.
Repower of the buses forms part of Tootbus’s aim to have a fully battery-electric fleet by 2030, which it says is “in line with the Mayor of London’s net-zero ambitions for the capital.”
Magtec has previously supplied a battery-electric drive system for a two-axle double-decker in the Tootbus fleet. Its experience in repowering open-top double-deckers is more extensive, with the exercise having begun some years ago with a Dennis Trident.
Speaking about the latest repower arrangement, Tootbus Managing Director Gavin Brooking says: “This agreement enables us to continue to deliver on our commitment to a truly sustainable service.
“We are the first clean energy sightseeing bus company, and remain driven to push the boundaries of green tourism at an accelerated rate – indeed, our recent Sustainable Tourism Barometer showed that operators need to make it easier for consumers to adopt greener options. Magtec’s market-leading battery technology will underpin these efforts.”
Adds Magtec Managing Director Andrew Gilligan: “We are delighted to be strengthening our partnership with Tootbus to support its drive to green services and provide an even bigger ‘wow factor’ for its customers.
“As a UK company, we are proud to be flying the flag for UK manufacturing and helping to improve air quality in the heart of our capital city.”
Tootbus already runs all of its internal combustion engine-fitted buses on HVO, having moved away from fossil diesel in 2022. It is the third open-top tour operator to announce battery-electric repower projects of late, following Big Bus and Lothian Buses.