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London gets world's first hybrid double decker bus

4 Apr 2007 by business traveller

Transport for London has rolled out the world's first hybrid double decker bus, with plans to increase hybrid fleets across the capital.

The bus, which will ply route 141 between London Bridge station and Palmers Green (via business districts such as Bank, Monument and Moorgate), is powered by both diesel engine and electric power, cutting emissions by up to 40 per cent. The electric battery is kept continuously charged by recycling waste energy produced in the braking process, meaning that the vehicle has the same range as that of a conventional diesel bus. Says Mayor of London Ken Livingstone:

"This is a world-first for London marking our commitment to a cleaner, greener public transport network. Hybrid vehicles emit less harmful emissions helping to improve air quality and tackle climate change."

It is estimated that if the entire London bus fleet ran on hybrid power it would cut carbon emissions by 200,000 tonnes per year. Livingstone has pledged that all buses built after 2012 will be hybrid powered, although trials have not been without their problems – earlier this year a fleet of six single decker hybrid buses had to be temporarily removed from London's route 360 due to overheating issues.

The double decker hybrid bus can be recognised by a leaf motif on the exterior – visit tfl.gov.uk for more information.

Report by Mark Caswell

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