London’s iconic double-decker buses recently received an eco update as six highly efficient hybrid Volvo vehicles hit the streets for the first time. The new B5L two-story buses retain their classic red color, but under the hood a hybrid drivetrain saves 25% on fuel consumption while significantly reducing emissions and noise. The buses have entered service in the city as part of a trial run, and if all goes according to plan they will be joined by additional vehicles in the future.
Volvo’s new B5L buses feature a parallel hybrid I-SAM (Integrated Starter, Alternator, Motor) system, which uses an electric motor and a hybrid engine to power the vehicle. The buses can go up to 12mph in electric mode, after which, the diesel engines steps in. The speed of 12mph might not sound like much, but it is quite perfect for most bus routes.
The vehicles are operated by the bus operator Arriva London and last week they joined several other hybrid bus lines in the city. Managing Director of Arriva London Mark Yexley stated, “With the support of Transport for London, this is a pioneering project for Arriva to be involved with. These six vehicles will provide an excellent opportunity to assess the benefits and the whole life cost proposition of hybrid technology in a real life day to day operating environment.”