All-electric buses to roll out in London

After London mayor Boris Johnson last summer announced plans for double-decker electric buses, a fleet of five of the EVs was announced to ply a route in the city. The zero-emission buses from China's car and battery maker BYD are expected to ease pollution over the route in the city.

The new buses are painted in Transport for London (TfL)'s traditional bright red, and are powered by BYD's proprietary iron-phosphate EV batteries.

Not long ago, the electric bus sector was considered a challenge, but BYD had figured out how to meet the challenge.

The buses come with BYD-designed and built Iron-Phosphate batteries, delivering 345 kWh of power and carry an industry-benchmark 12 year battery warranty, the longest electric battery warranty available. The batteries are capable of powering the bus for over 24 hours and up to 190 miles of typical urban driving on the service routes and require only a single daily recharging of four hours.

The buses are each over 33 feet long and carry a total of 81 passengers and with climate control present a heavy load. However, on the basis of the success  of last year's demonstration, it looked like electric double-decker buses had what it took to cope with London traffic.

Charging equipment would be installed at service operator Metroline's Willesden Bus Garage in north London. According to BYD, the buses were capable of carrying out most daily duty cycles.

"It's a very exciting moment that this is happening here," says Matthew Pencharz, London's deputy mayor of environment and energy. "The running costs are much lower and some of the maintenance and operations costs are much lower on the buses. Also, these [buses] are zero-emission, zero-tailpipe-pollution and that is a huge benefit for Londoners."