Every time I can’t find my garage door opener, I revisit the idea of taking the bus to work instead. If the buses in my hometown were more like London’s new eco-friendly hybrid buses, I think I would really get on board with taking the bus!
London’s red buses, which have long been their own tourist attraction, recently went green. The new hybrid buses, which are powdered by a disel engine and an electric motor, are more fuel-efficient than standard diesel buses and they’re are also quieter. London’s new diesel-electric hybrid buses also reduce emissions of harmful pollutants and carbon dioxide by 30 to 40 percent!
Overall, when compared to regular disel buses, London’s new hybrid buses deliver the following environmental benefits: a minimum of 30 percent reduction in fuel use, a minimum of 30 percent reduction in carbon dioxide, 3 decibel [dB(A)] reduction in perceived sound levels and reduced oxides of nitrogen and carbon monoxide. This means London’s new hybrid buses are not only more environmentally sound, they’re also cleaner, quieter and more efficient!
So why the new green fleet? Since the initial introduction of hybrid buses in 2006, automotive manufacturers have developed new hybrid systems for trial in London. Through this trial a total of 300 new hybrid buses will be finding their way into London’s public transit system by 2012.
Although the London bus fleet consists of over 8,000 total vehicles, adding 300 green buses is a good first step. City officials have also stated that all new buses entering the fleet by 2012 will be hybrids.
Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said regarding the new hybrid buses in London: “Londoners that travel on buses with the green leaf livery can rest comfortably in their seats and enjoy clear environmental consciences, safe in the knowledge that their journey will guzzle far less fuel and expire a whopping forty percent less carbon dioxide than a regular bus.”
As Johnson noted, the new hybrid buses are still red but are marked with green leaves so Londoners are aware that the bus is a hybrid.
Another perk to these new hybrid buses are the buses ability to generate electrical energy themselves. Specifically, London’s hybrid buses employ regenerative braking, meaning the buses generate electrical energy when their brakes are pressed. This electrical energy is then stored in a localized battery pack that powers the electric motor in the bus.