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Wirelessly charging buses to be trialled on Canning Town route

69 bus at Canning Town station 69 bus at Canning Town station

Thursday, August 28, 2014
2:34 PM

Greener buses will soon be on the streets of Newham as part of a new trial.

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Rechargable buses

The first buses in the UK to be charged wirelessly started operating in Milton Keynes in January.

Similar systems are already in place in cities in Italy, the Netherlands and Germany.

Last year, South Korea switched on a 7.5 mile (12km) long road which recharges electric vehicles as they drive over it.

The innovative technology will enable specially designed double decker buses to wirelessly charge their batteries while they wait at bus stands at either end of their route.

Four specially built buses will run on route 69, which runs from Canning Town to Walthamstow, from next year.

The trial allows buses to top up their batteries without needing to be plugged in, making recharging them much more convenient on busy routes.

They will still be equipped with diesel engines, but they will only be used when the battery power runs low.

Mike Weston, TfL’s director of buses, said: ‘We are continuing our assessment of new technology in the capital that can deliver genuine environmental benefits. This trial of extended range diesel electric hybrid buses, utilising the latest inductive charging technology, could be a step closer to getting even cleaner double deck buses on London’s streets.”

The new buses will have lower carbon emissions due to a reduced fuel use, and will improve the air quality due to having less tail pipe emissions.

Passengers should find that they are quieter and have lower vibration levels compared to the conventional diesel buses.

The trial will help TFL learn whether the technology can work in a busy city and if it is possible to make buses electric only.

Mr Weston added: “We will be closely monitoring the results of the trials, which may help us adopt this new cleaner technology more widely in London.”

This is not the first time environmentally friendly buses have been introduced in London.

There are already 800 hybrid buses operating across the capital in addition to a trial of six electric-only single decker buses.

Read more:

Video: Groundbreaking bus sensors to be piloted on Stratford route

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