BYD and Alexander Dennis have secured the larger part of London’s first order for 68 fully electric double-deckers. Thirty-seven Enviro400EVs will enter service with contractor Metroline in the second quarter of 2019 on one of two routes being converted to 100% electric operation. Thirty-one Optare Metrodeckers have been ordered for the other route, which has a slightly lower peak vehicle requirement.
The Enviro400EV has been designed at Alexander Dennis’s facility in Larbert and BYD’s research and development centre in Shenzhen, China. Like the Enviro200EV single-decker, the finished buses will be assembled in Britain.
The 10.9m long electric double-deckers will feature Alexander Dennis’s City body with a glazed staircase and will be built to TfL’s comprehensive specification. They will use BYD’s iron-phosphate battery technology which enables the buses to run all day on a single charge using cost effective off-peak electricity.
The buses, based at Metroline’s Holloway garage in north London, will serve the intensive route 43 running through the heart of the City of London between London Bridge in the south and Friern Barnet in the north.
This route has a peak requirement of 32 double-deckers. TfL has also awarded Metroline a separate contract to operate electric double-deckers on route 134 (Tottenham Court Road-North Finchley) with a peak requirement of 27 vehicles. Both contracts start on 2 February, with 31 Metrodecker EVs to operate route 134.
Holloway garage was opened in 1907 as an electric tram depot, later switching over to electric trolleybuses and later still to diesel buses. The chargers, managed by BYD’s smart charging battery management system, will not only service the new double-deckers but also Metroline’s fleet of twenty-three 10.8m Enviro200EVs when they enter service in the middle of this year.
In October 2015 BYD supplied Metroline with five Chinese-built double-deckers. These pilot vehicles have performed well on TfL’s route 98 which spans the length of Oxford Street. They are estimated to have clocked up over 100,000miles of trouble free service, saving 140tonnes of harmful emissions.
Metroline’s chief executive officer, Jaspal Singh, says: “Operating zero-emission all electric buses on route 43 confirms Metroline’s continued commitment to London, our customers and Transport for London. The 37 new Enviro400EV’s have very impressive environmental credentials and will deliver significant benefits for Londoners. Metroline’s latest investment underscores our resolve to lead the industry and continually deliver the very best service for London.”
“Our joint team has made tremendous progress in winning tenders for TfL routes across the capital with our 10.8m and 12m single-deckers,” says Isbrand Ho, managing director, BYD Europe. But with 6,800 double-deckers on London streets, their full electrification is the key to making maximum beneficial impact on air quality for Londoners. We are delighted, in the face of intensifying competition, to win the largest first order for electric double-deckers in London and to retain our position at the top of the electric bus sales league.”
“So far the Enviro200EV single decks have delivered in excess of 1.5million miles of zero emission transport in the UK,” says Alexander Dennis CEO Colin Robertson. “This new contract for double-decks takes the BYD Alexander Dennis collaboration to a whole new level in every sense. We look forward to continuing our journey of improving air quality, while responding to the operational demands of our customers and the requirements of their passengers with this brand new vehicle.”