London bus operator Metroline launched its new all-electric, zero emissions buses on London’s streets today, the first day of the inaugural London Climate Action Week.


By the end of summer, along with route 134 which is also operated by Metroline, these 2 routes will become London’s first fully electric, zero-emission double deck services. The conversion of these routes, which carry around 18.5 million people* across the City annually, to zero emission vehicles will further assist in improving the air quality in London.


The first service took to roads this morning at 7.36am, departing Holloway Garage and making its way to Friern Barnet, where it served its first passengers at just past 8am this morning. Customers were impressed by the environmental credentials of the bus and commented on the smooth and comfortable journey the service provided.


The bus’ maiden journey was driven by Afzol Hussain. A driver at Holloway since 2012, and a Mentor at the garage who has been training staff on the new buses, Hussain shared his excitement, saying, “”It feels good. Out of all the years driving on route 43, starting from driving buses like the VPL, TP…this electric bus is far better.” He added, “This bus doesn’t make any noise. The passenger doesn’t feel like they are sitting in a bus it is so comfortable.”  “It will have a big impact on the environment…I think that in the next decade, every bus in London will be electric.” Afzol said.”


The new buses are the result of a collaboration by Chinese automotive company BYD and British Bus builders Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL), and will operate from Holloway garage. The new vehicles will be completely electric, utilising both BYD’s proven electric chassis and ADL’s expertly designed E400 MMC body, and will contribute to cleaner air in London through zero emissions.


Metroline’s launch coincides with the first ever London Climate Action Week. A new initiative launched by the Mayor of London that aims to encourage low emission transport and clean energy, in addition to inspiring community action and business leadership on climate issues. Furthermore, following the launch of the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ), Metroline has committed to ensuring its fleet meets all low-emissions standards, and the implementation of an all-electric route 43 represents a significant step forward for both the Company and London.


The new buses are powered by power supplies housed in Holloway garage. With a daily mileage range in excess of 200 miles, the buses are only recharged at night when local demand for electricity is at its lowest. With the UK drawing 33% of its power from renewable sources, the buses’ already impressive environmentally friendly credentials will only continue to become more sustainable with each passing year.


The conversion of route 43 route is the latest development in Metroline’s advocacy for electric transport vehicles, which will continue with the introduction of electric buses on route 134 later this year. Metroline has consistently led the way for the adoption of industry leading technologies including electric buses in the capital, having been chosen to pilot 5 prototype BYD electric buses on London streets and subsequently investing in the UK’s largest order of electric buses from BYD. Metroline’s experience with BYD buses meant that they were perfectly placed to assist in the development of the new bus. Discussing the new electric buses, Adrian Jones, Engineering Director, Metroline said:


“The launch of the new electric buses on route 43 is a triumph for both Metroline and for London. Providing a new challenge for Metroline’s engineering teams, we worked closely with engineers at BYD to develop these new buses, using what we learnt from our trials with their prototypes. As a result, they are perfectly designed to deliver Londoners to their destinations, whilst helping to keep London’s air cleaner with zero-emissions.”


Commenting on the introduction of electric buses onto the No.43 route, Sean O’Shea, CEO, Metroline, said:


“It is fitting that the launch of London’s first all-electric route coincides with the start of London Climate Action Week. This is a significant step, route 43 serves thousands of Londoners each day from the heart of the City at London Bridge and Bank, to Islington and Holloway, as well as the suburbs in North London. It has been a great team effort to be ready for this moment, and it demonstrates our continued investment and commitment to leading the way for our customers and helping provide cleaner air for Londoners with our ever growing fleet of all-electric, zero emissions buses.”