London Plans for Hybrid Bus Expansion


Buses are already a fairly green option for transportation: even the regular old diesel bus gets cars with single drivers off the streets. The City of London plans to up the stakes in coming years, though, by converting its entire fleet of 8,000 buses to diesel hybrids, which would produce 200,000 less tons of carbon emissions per year. According to the Guardian,

Ken Livingstone, London's mayor, wants every new bus from 2012 to run on hybrid motors that will generate 40% less carbon dioxide than their diesel-powered forebears. The aim is to put 500 hybrid buses on London's roads each year, with the aim of creating a green fleet. "We take very seriously our role in cutting CO2 emissions and tackling climate change," said Peter Hendy, London's transport commissioner. "We are sending a clear message to London and the transport industry that we are serious about this." ...

A trial of six hybrid buses ran into trouble in London this year when the diesel engines overheated, forcing a temporary withdrawal of the vehicles, which ran on the 360 route between Elephant and Castle and Kensington.

Transport is a significant contributor to London's carbon emissions, accounting for 20% of all CO2 generated by the capital. Buses create about 5% of all the transport emissions.

Despite these initial problems, it's not hard to imagine that engineers can work the kinks out of the engines, and have plenty of them on the streets in six years. Interestingly, Friends of the Earth gave a somewhat mixed review of this move, applauding the effort, but calling for more buses powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Sure, fuel cells are cleaner, but we're guessing that prices aren't even comparable. London gets another feather in its cap for leading the pack on addressing carbon emissions by various forms of transportation in the city. ::Guardian Unlimited