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TfL to trial wirelessly charging hybrid buses

Transport for London (TfL) has announced it will start trialling "inductive charging technology" for its hybrid-engine buses.

According to T3 (opens in new tab), the new technology will allow buses to charge their batteries wirelessly while waiting at bus stands.

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TfL will equip its Alexander Dennis Enviro400H E400 buses with the new equipment, allowing them to recharge at either end of the route.

The trial will initially be in place on route 69, operating between Canning Town and Walthamstow bus stations.

"Passengers will notice that these extended range diesel electric hybrid buses offer much lower noise and vibration levels compared to conventional diesel vehicles," TfL announced.

The new buses offer significantly reduced carbon emissions, and require less fuel than conventional vehicles.

Mike Weston, TfL's director of buses, said that the trial would be extended if it proved successful.

"We are continuing our assessment of new technology in the capital that can deliver genuine environmental benefits. We will be closely monitoring the results of the trials, which may help us adopt this new cleaner technology more widely in London."

Currently, 800 hybrid buses are in operation throughout the capital, with TfL promising those numbers will reach 1,700 by 2016, representing 20 per cent of the total fleet.

Read more: Free public Wi-Fi arrives on London buses (opens in new tab)

The new wireless charging scheme will run alongside a trial of six "pure electric" single deck buses, as part of Mayor Boris Johnson's proposal for all single deck vehicles to have zero exhaust emissions.

Barclay Ballard
Barclay Ballard

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.