London is rolling out a fleet of hydrogen-powered double decker buses starting next year as mayor Sadiq Khan highlights the importance of cutting down on emissions in the capital.
The Guardian reports that Transport for London (TfL) has commissioned 20 such buses costing around half a million pounds each, with the expectation that they'll be joining the existing single-decker hydrogen buses already in use by 2020.
"We all have a role to play in cleaning up London’s toxic air and I’ve always said that TfL should lead from the front," said Khan. "We are investing a record £85m in cleaning up our bus fleet, and I am proud that London now has the largest zero-emission bus fleet in Europe."
The city's transport routes are already frequented by electric double decker buses that we saw take to the roads in 2016. TfL is hoping to have a total of 68 electric double deckers operating by the summer. The organisation has 165 zero-emissions buses on the streets already.
Wrightbus is responsible for building the hydrogen-powered buses for the low, low cost of £12m, which will include the surrounding infrastructure to keep the buses refuelled and running. Last month, London's Ultra-Low Emission Zone went into effect, and is predicted to reduce road emissions by 50 per cent. It basically charges you for driving around London between the hours of 7am and 6pm if you drive a vehicle that doesn't meet the Euro 6 standard set out in 2015. And that's in addition to the congestion charge.
Earlier this year, Liverpool's mayor outlined plans to trial a small fleet of hydrogen buses in the city as a measure to hit its target of significantly cutting carbon emissions by 2020.
Hydrogen isn't just used to power vehicles; it can be used to store electricity, and added to natural gas supplies. You can read more about the highlights of hydrogen right here.
Feature image credit: Wrights Group