The buses will only have water exhaust emissions and will be on the capital’s streets by 2020
London will have the world’s first hydrogen-powered doubledecker buses on its streets next year, as the capital steps up attempts to tackle its polluted air.
Transport for London (TfL) has ordered 20 of the buses, which cost around £500,000 each and only emit water as exhaust.
As well as cutting polluting exhaust emissions, the buses will run on green hydrogen produced via North Kent offshore wind farms, according to TfL.
The overall cost for the new fleet, including the refuelling infrastructure, will be £12m, £5m of which will come from European funding. The transport authority expects the running costs to be comparable for a diesel bus.
Single-decker hydrogen buses have already been operating on central London routes, and also in Aberdeen and Brighton. The first doubledeckers will be built in the UK, by Wrightbus in Northern Ireland, which also manufactured the New Routemaster buses introduced in 2012-13.
The buses will also feature amenities such as USB charging points, and promise a smoother, quieter ride. They will operate first on three routes in west London and to Wembley, which served over 10 million passenger journeys last year.
The move follows the introduction of the capital’s ultra-low emission zone last month, where the most polluting bus and coaches are charged £100-a-day to drive.
The London mayor, Sadiq Khan, said: “We all have a role to play in cleaning up London’s toxic air and I’ve always said that TfL should lead from the front. We are investing a record £85m in cleaning up our bus fleet, and I am proud that London now has the largest zero-emission bus fleet in Europe.”
TfL now operates a total of 165 zero-emission buses, and expects to be running 68 electric doubledeckers on London streets by this summer.
Source: The Guardian