London to trial hybrid buses capable of wireless charging

London's fast-expanding green bus fleet is expected to get a further boost, after Transport for London's (Tfl) announcement yesterday regarding the launch of a new trial to test four specially designed hybrid buses capable of wirelessly charging their batteries when standing at bus stops, Business Green reported

The Alexander Dennis Enviro400H E400 buses are powered by a diesel-electric hybrid engine incorporating technology that would enable batteries to receive a charging boost when stationary, at specially equipped bus stops.

The four buses would operate from next year on the Stagecoach-operated route 69 between Canning Town and Walthamstow bus stations, which would be fitted with inductive wireless charging technology.

TfL did not disclose the projected carbon emission, air pollution, and fuel cost savings that are expected to result from the trial, though it revealed that it expected the technology would allow the buses to operate in pure electric mode for "a significant period of the time they are in passenger service".

It said, "The buses have a diesel engine that will be used when the battery power on the bus is depleted, but it is anticipated this will only be a small amount of the time, meaning emissions on these vehicles are greatly reduced," the organisation stated.

According to a national report on public transport, passengers had been let down by deregulation of bus services and that the system needed to change.

According to the Institute for Public Policy Research, Transport for London, which had stronger powers over the bus network in the capital, was the key to its success and the model needed to be repeated in other parts of the country.

Also Nottingham City Council had said the idea could be beneficial.

According to the authority's director for Planning and Transport, Sue Flack, Nottingham was one of the few places to see an increase in bus passengers on its two main operators, acknowledged as among the best in the country, which were working effectively alongside the city council to invest in and improve bus services in and around the city.

Bus services were privatised 30 years ago under Margaret Thatcher, with only London avoiding the change.