Mayor Sadiq Khan today confirmed that the world’s first double-decker hydrogen bus will enter service in London.
Manufactured by Wrightbus, the bus will be trialled on London’s roads next year to assess real-world performance and gather passenger feedback.
Speaking to journalists on Wednesday morning, Mr Khan said that although the initial costs of hydrogen double-deckers would be higher than that for regular buses, prices would fall as take-up increased, allowing ever greater numbers of the buses to be deployed.
He added that in the meantime it was right he and Transport for London support new technologies which can clean up the capital’s poor air quality which is a contributory factor in around 9,400 premature deaths each year.
The Mayor also said it would be possible to move to cleaner engine technologies without threatening his fares freeze.
Appearing alongside the bus outside City Hall, Mr Khan also announced that no more pure diesel buses would be ordered for London bus routes from 2018 and that all new single-decks used on central London routes will be zero-emission.
Mr Khan unveiled the new bus ahead of a summit attended by international city officials, bus manufacturers, financiers and technology providers which is being hosted by him and Deputy Mayor of Transport, Val Shawcross.
The Mayor said: “I want London to become a world leader in hydrogen and electric bus technology.
“I’m implementing hard-hitting measures to clean-up London’s toxic air and it’s great that more cities are getting on board to phase out the procurement of pure diesel buses which sends a clear signal that only the cleanest technologies are wanted in our cities.”
Mike Brown, London’s Transport Commissioner, added: “We’re determined to make our public transport system one of the cleanest in the world and phasing out diesel buses lies at the heart of this.
“Zero emission buses are the future, and my staff are working hard with manufacturers and bus companies to make them a reality in the Capital as quickly as possible.”