Tootbus has confirmed further details of work to move its open-top sightseeing buses in London to zero-emission with the appointment of supplier VEV to manage that battery-electric fleet and develop an overall bus electrification plan.
The operator already has a small number of battery-electrics in service in the capital. By 2029 it will have moved more than 30 buses to that power source and achieved a fully zero-emission fleet in London via both repower work and the delivery of new vehicles.
Starting from this month, VEV is enabling Tootbus to power the current battery-electric fleet with 100% renewable energy, and installing the first 10 charging units at the operator’s Wandsworth depot.
In the future, and subject to planning permission and surveys, the supplier will install solar panels on the roof of those premises, which it says will generate 65MW/h of electricity per annum and power the bus fleet for 60,000km.
The RATP Dev subsidiary will leverage the VEV-IQ smart energy and charging management platform. That proprietary system enables operators “to monitor power supply, charging infrastructure and vehicle usage to keep their fleets on the road and maximise energy efficiency,” says VEV. The supplier outlined its plans for the bus industry during 2023.
Speaking about the agreement with VEV, Tootbus UK Managing Director Gavin Brooking says: “Green tourism is at the heart of our business strategy and is an important investment for us.
“We recognised the enormous potential that switching to a complete, end-to-end sustainable electric fleet could have in helping us to achieve our emissions reduction goals. With its extensive experience in the sector of smart energy management, VEV is an ideal likeminded partner for us with a bespoke, turnkey solution.”
VEV CEO Mike Nakrani adds that making a move to battery-electric “is not only the right thing to do, but is also a competitive advantage.”
Continues Mr Nakrani: “We are excited to be working with Gavin and his proactive team at Tootbus to demonstrate the invaluable impact that fleet electrification and smart energy management have in helping cities to reduce carbon emissions. We look forward to continuing to support them in leading the way to more sustainable travel.”
Tootbus embarked on its decarbonisation journey in 2022, when it moved to using HVO in all internal combustion-equipped buses in London. The operator is currently having 15 Volvo B9TL tri-axle double-deckers repowered to battery-electric by Magtec in a move that includes 280kW/h of onboard energy storage.