Go Ahead London are a company that provide nearly a quarter of London’s buses. According to the group, their vehicles travel over 80 million miles annually, and employ more than 7600 staff across various sites within the city. The company have a history of innovation, and have recently become one of the front runners for low emission services in the form of their new hybrid bus models.
The new bus models in question are the 39 Enviro400H double-deck buses with Series-E hybrid technology – referred to as the “Series E”. In this model the diesel engine acts a generator for the electric drive, featuring a more compact motor and an ultra-capacitor energy storage system.
These components are theorised to make all the difference to the service, as they are replacing wearable parts such as a speed-reducing gearbox and storage batteries in a way that lasts the lifetime of the bus itself. This ultimately reduces the total cost of ownership for the vehicles. It’s predicted that in just one decade costs will be reduced by 53%.
In a recent interview with Intelligent Transport, Richard Harrington, Go-Ahead London Engineering Director, said: “With 245 Enviro400H already in our fleet, we know ADL and BAE Systems’ Enviro400H helps us improve London’s air quality. This experience gave us the confidence to place a volume order for the new Series-E version and we look forward to recognising its improved fuel economy and lower cost of ownership.”
Matthew Lawrence, BAE Systems Business Development Manager, further explained to Intelligent Transport: “With Ultra Low Emission Bus certification, the Enviro400H with Series-E technology and ultra-capacitor energy storage not only suits London operators, but gives bus companies around the country the opportunity to apply for Department for Transport funding with a proven solution supported by existing infrastructure.”
Although set to improve the quality of London’s services, the Series E buses aren’t the only hybrid buses to be employed in cities around the world. California for example have recently launched a fleet of their own green all-electric buses which share similar components to London’s hybrid buses. China, too, is pioneering such services on an impressive national scale. Cities such as Shenzhen are responsible for transitioning more than 16,000 buses to electric models, with plans to extend this to other forms of transport also.
The transition to clean electric technology could therefore be the future for other modes of transport in London also. Not only does this improve the quality of environment in the area, but it also allows for developments in green technology, sparks other economic investments focusing in this market, and supports the creation of green governmental policies.