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100% solar-powered buses arrive in London as UK eyes zero emissions by 2050

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PV Magazine

New solar powered buses run for up to 190 miles of typical urban driving and can be recharged in about four hours EveryStockPhoto/davidnikonvscanon.

New solar powered buses run for up to 190 miles of typical urban driving and can be recharged in about four hours
EveryStockPhoto/davidnikonvscanon.

Soon to be trundling along London’s busy streets, the zero-carbon vehicle was designed and developed by China’s BYD company. The bus is 10.2m long, features full air conditioning and offers seats and standing spaces for 81 passengers. The batteries deliver 345 kWh of power and can run for up to 190 miles of typical urban driving. Recharging the bus takes about four hours and can be completed overnight using low-cost off-peak electricity, the company said in a press release.

“The Mayor of London challenged us saying that he did not believe an electric Double Decker was technically feasible but we took up the challenge and in less than two years created the bus Londoners can see today,” said Isbrand Ho, Managing Director of BYD Europe. “This is not a hybrid bus but a totally emissions-free product that will give London a world leading position in its efforts to improve air quality.”

BYD will supply the fleet of five buses for Transport for London and Metroline. The company is currently working on an on introduction program, which includes driver training and the installation of fast charging equipment at Metroline’s Willesden Bus Garage in north London.

On Monday, the day before the first clean Double Decker was introduced at London City Hall, energy minister Andrea Leadsom addressed the government with the proposal to “enshrine” the Paris goal for net zero emissions by 2050 in U.K. law.

Following the Climate Change Act passed in 2008, the U.K. is currently aiming to cut its CO2 emissions by at least 80% by 2050. Also, according to the U.K.’s pledge made at the United Nations climate change conference in Paris, in less than 35 years all new cars sold in the country will be emissions free.

Source: PV Magazine. Reproduced with permission.

  

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  • john

    Urban transport looks like this is going to be a large area of movement to electrical power for traction.
    Trains having done this a long time ago.
    In some locations with good solar resources the utilisation of solar to do partial top up charging should be able to be used to further lower the running costs.

  • suthnsun

    I can’t see any reference to solar power except in title.

    • MorinMoss

      London must truly be a magical place – the sun shines at night!!

      “Recharging the bus takes about four hours and can be completed overnight using low-cost off-peak electricity”

      • john

        Perhaps they are going to store all that wasted energy from the sun.
        Even if they use off peak power it will still show a lower cost of utilisation against Diesel power.
        Let alone the lowering of service costs.
        Which part of the cost curve do you think is in error?

        • MorinMoss

          The part that says “100% solar-powered buses”

    • john

      Perhaps in London it may not work but for further toward the Equator regions this is eminently suitable.

    • john

      Perhaps over the large roof of Metroline’s Willesden Bus Garage in north London
      I would think the simple way to utilise solar would be to run busses to the end of the route then charge them meanwhile having 2 that can do this I am sure this is not rocket science to work out the scheduling of busses on set routes.

  • DogzOwn

    Recharge 345kWh in 4 hours amounts to to nearly 90kW, so hefty Type3 charge points needing battery storage to deliver so much power unless drive into sub station.

  • Vincent Lopez
    • Thylacine

      I thought they were the new buses-;)

  • solarguy

    190 miles range isn’t that much when you consider an Aussie made bus travelled from Melbourne to Sydney on a single charge just recently. Hey, better than a kick in the tits, eh.

  • share16062

    what shall they do if it is out off power and so many people in the bus?

  • burttthebike

    “100% solar powered buses arrive in London…..”

    “Recharging the bus takes about four hours and can be completed overnight using low-cost off-peak electricity”

    I knew London was a bit special, but I didn’t realise that the the sun shines at night there.