Metroline’s latest zero-emission, electric double deck buses hit the streets of London today. Route 134 operating from Potters Bar Garage adds to Metroline’s growing fleet of almost 100 zero-emission, electric buses by the end of this year. Together with Route 43, also operated by Metroline,  the two routes will be London’s first, end-to-end fully electric double deck bus routes by the end of the summer. The conversion of the two routes, which carry around 18.5 million people* across the City annually, to zero emission vehicles will further assist in improving air quality in London.

The first 134 buses entered into service at 6.59am, departing from Potters Bar and made its way to North Finchley where it picked up its first passengers.  Chosen to drive the new bus on its inaugural journey was driver Kevin O’Sullivan. Speaking about the new electric 134, he said: “I think it will make a real difference in making the air cleaner…Electric buses will become popular everywhere in London, and the more there are, it might help more buses outside of the city become electric too.”

The new buses were delivered by Optare, an award-winning British manufacturer known for their lightweight Metrodecker series of double deck buses, based in Yorkshire. The vehicles on the 134 route are the electric Metrodecker EV series and represent the latest in engineering. The bus is able to carry over 90 people to their destinations and has a range of over 150 plus  miles on a single charge. Each bus is charged by purpose built power supplies that have been installed at Potters Bar garage, and like the route 43 buses in Holloway are charged during the night and periods of low local demand in order to mitigate the garage’s energy demand. As the UK’s reliance on renewable sources, already at 33%, increases, the environmentally friendly credentials and sustainable benefits of these buses will continue to increase.

Commenting on the launch, Sean O’Shea, CEO of Metroline said: “Metroline have made a significant investment and commitment to electric buses and with the launch of electric buses on our 134  service today, we continue to lead the way by delivering London’s first completely zero-emissions, all-electric routes. Combined with our electric buses operating on route 43, today’s launch marks a significant step forward for Metroline, and London,  as we continue to deliver greener and environmentally cleaner solutions for our customers on the London Bus network.”

Graham Belgum, Optare’s CEO commented “Optare is thrilled to partner with Metroline in delivering one of TfL’s first zero emission double deck routes.  The launch of the Metrodecker EV into service on route 134 represents the culmination of 4 years work for the company and a major milestone in the our zero emission journey.  We look forward to a successful partnership with Metroline and a growing presence in the Capital”