This week Transport for London (TfL) revealed its plans for the future of public transport detailing 20 new electric trams that can be recharged in as little as 10 minutes. The combination of new technology with the electrification of older trains and trams allows these buses to run almost non-stop.
Irizar’s new emission-free electric buses reportedly ply route 358 from Crystal Palace to Orpington. If you live between those streets, you will soon be able to get on board.
According to the Mayor of London, these are a game changer. That’s because these aren’t your typical electric vehicles that need to stop and plug in for a while to recharge the battery. Instead, a novel system will recharge them from above, during stops on the bus route, in just 10 minutes.
Change of game.
As part of our commitment to making London greener for everyone, @TfL they are introducing 20 new emission-free electric buses in 2023, and they only take 10 minutes to charge.
I look forward to seeing these new buses in action. https://t.co/XLMf6yJ66r
– Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (@MayorofLondon) November 1, 2022
The electric bus fleet has unique train-style pantographs (pictured below) mounted on the roof. This system can deliver fast loads to each bus throughout the day. However, instead of permanent arms and cables everywhere, these new electric buses only charge at bus stops.
You will not see power lines along the bus route. Instead, there is a large charging station at each end of the 15-mile route between Crystal Palace and Orpington. When one of these electric buses stops, it will lower an arm via Wi-Fi and start a fast charge.
Essentially, each bus receives a quick battery charge at destinations and then continues on its way to serve the public. Irizar explains the system saying that “it combines the ease of access and the internal configuration of a tram with the flexibility of an urban bus”.
According to TfL, these new “eTram buses” will start running in 2023 and if all goes well, Londoners can look forward to more buses and routes soon.