Transport for London has announced it is to trial wireless charging technology on its hybrid diesel-electric buses.
The new technology can charge the buses wirelessly, while they are at bus stops.
The trial is to test if the technology can withstand the demanding rigours of transport in London.
Supplying the bus station charging technology is electric mobility company, IPT Technology, and supplying plug-in chargers for West Ham bus garage is German electric and engineering conglomerate, Siemens. The Transport Research Laboratory and Transport and Travel Research are to provide monitoring and evaluation support.
The wireless charger makes it easier for busy London bus routes to recharge electric batteries while stopping at bus stands.
The trial is to assist TFL in switching all of London’s buses to electric. TFL’s director of buses, Mike Weston said the trial, “could be a step closer to getting even cleaner double deck buses on London's street".
The trial project was part-funded by the European Programme called Zero Emissions Urban Bus System and will boost the amount of the bus route that buses are using electric power, opposed to diesel. The hybrid buses then use diesel when the electric charge runs out, reducing emissions and also lowering noise pollution and providing better air quality for London.
The trial is to be tested on four ‘Alexander Dennis Enviro400H E400' hybrid buses in east London, next year. The trial will be on route 69, Canning Town to Walthamstow bus stations.
Recently air quality in London has made headlines as the city failed air quality tests and government health advisors warned of the affects from air pollution, predominantly from exhaust fumes.
On 29 July Mayor of London Boris Johnson, called on the Government and European Commission to match his plans to tackle air quality and get London's air to meet EU limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions by 2020 – rather than the current target of 2030.
The technology is also supposed to reduce running costs, and is part of a plan for London Transport to up its green credentials. TFL is also trialing six fully electric, single deck buses in London as part of the Mayor’s plan for single deck buses to be zero emissions.
“We will be closely monitoring the results of the trials, which may help us adopt this new cleaner technology more widely in London,” said Weston.
There are also hydrogen buses on Route RV1, between Covent Garden and Tower Gateway, and a fleet of 800 hybrid buses already on London’s bus routes, it is hoped the hybrids will increase to 1,700 by 2016, or 20% of London bus fleet.