London’s First All Electric Bus Route To Be Operated By Arriva London (w/video)

APR 14 2015 BY MARK KANE 10

pure electric Optare MetroCity

pure electric Optare MetroCity

London will get its first all-electric bus route as Arriva London decided to electrify route 312, which runs between South Croydon and Norwood Junction.

312 already has two Optare MetroCity EVs being tested to see whether they can stand up to the rigors of operating in an intense urban environment and Arriva London placed an order for another seven.

9 electric buses should be able to entirely replace conventional buses.

Transport for London (TfL) expects that the current number of 8 electric buses in London will grow to over 300 in the next five years.

Enrico Vassallo, CEO, Optare, said:

“We are delighted that Arriva has chosen to purchase a further seven buses following the success of the MetroCity Optare fully electric buses currently operating on route 312.  This order marks the first order of electric vehicles to be solely funded by a London operator.  With zero emissions at tail pipe, these vehicles demonstrate that fully electric bus technology has very much arrived and is a commercially viable solution to improved air quality in London.”

Peter Batty. Commercial Director, Arriva London, commented on the recent order:

“We are one of the biggest bus operators in London, providing around 18% of the capital’s bus services under contract to Transport for London. Following an initial trail of the Optare fully electric vehicles on route 312 we were satisfied that the technology was robust enough to stand up to the rigours of operating in an intense urban environment and are pleased to be the first operator in London to be offering a fully electric route.”

Mike Weston, TfL’s Director of Buses, said:

“This is an exciting new milestone for our bus fleet, which is already one of the cleanest in Europe.  We currently have eight electric buses in the TfL fleet and this number will grow to more than 300 by 2020.  London has always been at the forefront of adopting and trialling new green technology and these buses are a welcome addition to the fleet.”

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10 Comments on "London’s First All Electric Bus Route To Be Operated By Arriva London (w/video)"

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These buses look a bit different than the BYD busses (two of them) that operated in south London last summer.

It uses CHAdeMO to charge it (that’s the newest Yazaki plug in the video), but it’s difficult to identify the lower circular charge port. Two CHAdeMO inlets?

Interesting. It’d be great if the article included some basic specs – battery size, range, recharge rate, and what they’re expecting in terms of charge frequency. If it’s either 1 or 2 Chademo ports, that would be 120kW max (correct?) in which case I would expect they might be recharging for every full loop of the route.

Optare Versa EV – technical specifications

– Type: Magtec P144 “Zero emission” electric

– Max Power: 150kW @ 2650rpm

– Max Torque: 2380Nm @ 2650rpm

– Type: Two packs assembled in series, consisting of 26 batteries per pack.

– Batteries: 52 lithium iron magnesium phosphate batteries. 12.8v/ 138Ah (Rev 2) maintenance free type with built in electronic monitoring of key parameters.

– Voltage: 333 volts DC nominal x 2 (in parallel).

– Forecast range: Approx 95 miles (150km) on a single charge, dependent on duty cycle and equipment options.

– Charging: 2 x 7.5kW integrated on-board charger connects to standard commercial three phase supply. Optional 50kW off-board charger.

– Charge time: Approx 6 hours from zero to full using on-board charger. (Approx 2 hours using 50kW off-board charger).

– Different charging options are also available: Dual fast charge [100kW], which reduces charging time by up to half [Approx 1 hour] or inductive 60kW charging.

Horizontally mounted radiator incorporating an electronically driven cooling fan, mounted within the engine bay.

Fuel fired (diesel), low emission combustion heater with thermostatically controlled blown, recirculating warm air heating system for passenger comfort.

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These buses are okay. Not like that BYD **** with the hideous air conditioning boxes sticking up on the roof.

A good electric bus needs to be quiet and smooth. This is extremely important, because a bus that rides well, will promote EVs in general. A cheap, noisy and bumpy electric bus will do the very opposite: alienate passengers from the technology.

Having never ridden a BYD bus I can’t claim they’re uncomfortable or overly-loud, but I can say that as a company they don’t impress me. It’s just more cheap crap – their car, the… E6? It can’t even do a hill start; the motor goes all whiney and sounds awful.

Like the Disney World monorail. But with tires. On the ground.

They should add over head wires to power some of these things if they get enough of them going down a main street like in the 1950’s these were very common.

London used to have trolleybuses but they weren’t popular and lots overhead power lines are tacky and potential hazards

Not to mention when the next battery breakthroughs come out and the bus range is greater, the cables become redundant and you’ve got useless cables decorating the city

Fantastic news – But a diesel heater ? For pity’s sake that’s almost as bad as having a ice rex. Let’s do zero emissions properly if we’re going to do it.