This week Transport for London (TfL) unveiled its plans for the future of public transport by unveiling 20 brand new electric trambuses that can be charged in just 10 minutes. The combination of new technology with older electrification of trains and trams allows these buses to run almost continuously.
Irizar’s new zero-emission electric buses will reportedly operate on Route 358 from Crystal Palace to Orpington. If you live between these streets, you’ll soon be able to board.
According to the Mayor of London, these are game-changing changes. This is because these aren’t typical electric vehicles that need to stop and plug in for a while to charge the battery. Instead, a novel system will charge them from above during bus line stops in just 10 minutes.
As part of our commitment to making London greener for all, @TfL introduce 20 new zero-emission electric buses in 2023 – and it takes just 10 minutes to charge.
I look forward to seeing these new buses in action. https://t.co/XLMf6yJ66r
— Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (@MayorofLondon) November 1, 2022
The electric bus fleet has unique train-style pantographs (pictured below) mounted on the roof. This system can deliver fast charges to any bus throughout the day. However, instead of permanent arms and wires everywhere, these new electric buses only charge at bus stops.
You will not see any electrical wires along the bus route. Instead, there is a large charging station at either end of the 15-mile stretch connecting Crystal Palace and Orpington. When one of these electric buses pulls up, it lowers an arm over Wi-Fi and initiates fast charging.
Essentially, each bus gets a quick battery charge at its destination and then continues on its way to serve the public. Irizar explains the system as “combining the easy access and internal configuration of a tram with the flexibility of a city bus”.
According to TfL, these new ‘eTram buses’ will start rolling in 2023 and if all goes well, Londoners can expect more buses and routes soon.
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