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New Electric Buses coming to Waltham Forest

Waltham Forest has been chosen as one of the areas where Transport for London (TFL) will be trialling a new range of electric hybrid buses, which can be charged wirelessly while they wait at bus stands.


The specially built diesel hybrid double decker buses will include those on the route of the 69 bus which runs from Walthamstow Central to Canning Town. The trial is due to start next year.


“It is encouraging to see that TFL have chosen Waltham Forest to trial this new technology, as we have pressed them for action on improving air quality across the borough”, said Councillor Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment.


“We know that traffic on our busiest roads is the main contributor to Waltham Forest’s poor air quality, so hopefully this trial will have the desired effect and we can see this technology rolled out on all buses servicing the borough.”


Diesel electric hybrid buses have significantly reduced tail pipe emissions, resulting in improved air quality, and because of reduced fuel use will also have lower carbon emissions.


The hybrid buses are fitted with on-board batteries that can receive a charge boost at bus stands at either end of the route. It is hoped that the buses will be able to operate in pure electric mode for a significant time while they are in service. The buses have a diesel engine that can be used when battery power is low, but it is anticipated this would only be needed for a short amount of time.


The new charging technology allows the buses to top up their batteries without the need to be physically plugged in, which will be a more convenient option on busy routes. Diesel electric hybrid buses also have much lower noise and vibration levels compared to conventional diesel vehicles.


The trial will establish whether this new technology can stand up to the rigours of operating in a busy urban area. It will also help TFL understand whether electric-only mode could be realistically achieved, and whether any modifications would be needed before hybrid buses could be rolled out more widely.


For more information on air quality in Waltham Forest visit www.walthamforest.gov.uk/air-quality.


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