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Electric buses introduced on routes 507 and 521

Two electric buses are to be trialled on routes 507 and 521 for the next two years.

Electric buses introduced on routes 507 and 521
An electric bus outside Lambeth Palace
Electric buses introduced on routes 507 and 521

The Chinese-built vehicles were unveiled on Wednesday at Waterloo Bus Garage in Cornwall Road where new charging equipment has been installed.

They will be operated by Go-Ahead London General on route 507 which links Waterloo Station with Victoria and route 521 which runs from Waterloo to London Bridge Station via Holborn.

The former 'Red Arrow' inter-station commuter routes have been chosen for the trial because they cover relatively short distances and do not require vehicles to be available for service round the clock.

"Electric buses could help deliver the cleaner and greener bus fleet we need to cut carbon emissions and improve air quality," said Matthew Pencharz, senior environment and energy advisor to the Mayor of London.

"If these prove successful we plan to see more introduced over the next few years to run alongside the hybrid and hydrogen bus technology that is already tackling air pollution and carbon emissions across the capital."

The new electric buses – like the hydrogen fuel cell vehicles used on route RV1 – make no harmful emissions while they are in service.

Mike Weston, Transport for London's director of buses, said: "We will be closely monitoring the performance of these vehicles while they are being trialled here in London.

"Should the performance and reliability of these buses meet London's challenging requirements, this could be a very important step towards adopting this new clean technology in the capital."

The manufacturer's tests demonstrated a potential running cost saving of around 75 per cent compared to a diesel bus.

The buses take around four to five hours to fully charge overnight and should have a range of 250 kilometres.

In addition to the two buses in this trial, six more electric buses will be introduced into the TfL fleet in early 2014.

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