Beginning next year, London will begin implementing new double-decker buses that will be powered by hydrogen. The mayor, Sadiq Khan, is introducing this fleet of buses as part of an overall policy to cut down on carbon emissions in the nation’s capital. So far, 20 of these buses have been commissioned. The cost for each bus is estimated at half a million pounds; they will be able to be in route alongside the single-decker hydrogen buses that are already in use.
Khan stated that they will have invested 85 million pounds in the bus fleet, which will soon be the largest zero-emission fleet in Europe. Already the city has been using electric double-decker buses since 2016, but they’re hoping to have 68 of these buses in operation by the summer. Altogether, there are 168 zero emission buses currently on the road right now.
Wrightbus is the company that is currently building the buses at around 12 million pounds, which also includes building necessary infrastructure that will ensure that the buses are refueled and kept running. London’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone went into effect last month and is expected to help bring down emissions by as much as 50 percent. This zone carries a fee if you are driving from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and that vehicle is up to the current Euro 6 emission standard set in 2015. This is not the only fee, as there is a congestion charge in addition to the one enforced in the zone.
The goal of this strategy seems to be to not only make sure drivers are using zero emission vehicles in the city, but also an incentive to utilize the clean energy buses as well. But, London is not the only place making widespread use of these buses. Liverpool’s mayor just announced that they will begin a trial of similar buses aimed at cutting emissions hopefully by 2020. In time, it seems, more cities will begin to start the switch to hydrogen buses, and everyone will be able to breathe a bit easier.
Changes like these are necessary in order to create a cleaner environment for everyone. Many cities have seen the detrimental effects of smog in their atmosphere and are working to find solutions.