Mayor puts ‘lean, green and ravishing machine’ through its paces

Posted: 27 May 2011 | Transport for London (TfL) | No comments yet

Mayor of London reveals New Bus prototype for London as it undergoes rigorous testing regime at a UK vehicle development centre…

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The Mayor of London revealed a prototype of the New Bus for London today (27 May) that is now being submitted to a rigorous testing regime at one of the UK’s top vehicle development centres. If tests go well then the new bus, with its hop on and hop off platform, remains on schedule to be on the streets of central London by early next year.

While at Millbrook Proving Ground the new bus will undergo months of testing to check every aspect of the engineering design. That will include the performance of the diesel-electric hybrid system, operating performance and engine emissions. General handling of the bus will be put through stringent tests as well as the chassis and superstructure.

One of the Mayor’s chief aims for the new bus has been for it to have the greenest possible credentials. It will use the latest hybrid engine technology and has a revolutionary new electric motor that will deliver a significant weight saving over a conventional bus.

The environmental technology being tested is such that the manufacturers anticipate the new bus could be a world leader in terms of its impact on air quality. It has been designed so that air quality emissions will be reduced by 40 per cent for NOx* emissions and 33 per cent for PM** emissions when compared with conventional diesel buses. If every bus in London performed to the standard of the New Bus for London then air quality could be improved to the extent of a 57 per cent reduction in the amount of NOx emissions from buses. It is also predicted that fuel consumption on the new bus will be approximately 10 miles per gallon (28 litres per 100km), which is nearly 40 per cent better than a conventional diesel double deck bus and 15 per cent better than existing hybrid double deck buses.

The version of the new bus that is being tested is only intended to operate on the busy roads of central London. But the potential of its environmental technology is that if rolled out across the entire fleet of London buses it could potentially reduce CO2 emissions in the capital by 230,000 tonnes a year.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “I am thrilled that we are now able to put this lean, green and thoroughly ravishing machine through its paces. Over the next few months its mettle will be well and truly tested. But I hope that process will confirm we have built a real eco warrior of a bus that can contribute to improving the air of our city, while transporting Londoners in great style and safety.”

TfL’s Managing Director of Surface Transport, Leon Daniels, said: “The engineering test vehicle will allow us to check and then re-check the physical structure, engineering and performance of the bus. During the course of the next few months it will undergo an intensive battery of tests that will include everything from a compressed bus drive cycle to test the durability of the bus to being tilted to 28 degrees on a huge hydraulic table to ensure it meets all the legal requirements. The findings from the tests will refine the design of the buses that will enter service early next year.”

The Mayor also announced today that the first New Bus for London vehicle to enter service in early 2012 will be operated by Arriva London.

A full scale static mock-up of the New Bus for London was built last year and a range of stakeholders were invited to view it and to help TfL early in the design process. The engagement activity involved a number of key stakeholder groups, including wheelchair users.

Overall, the stakeholder feedback was extremely positive with more than 90 per cent liking or strongly liking the exterior of the bus and around 85 per cent liking or strongly liking the overall design. Input from stakeholders, particularly those representing disabled bus passengers, has enabled TfL to make some additional enhancements to the design of the bus that will improve the passenger experience.

* NOx = Oxides of nitrogen
** PM = Particulate Matter

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