In alignment with the city’s recent emissions efforts, London Mayor Sadiq Khan made an announcement today that the older, most polluting buses traveling in the capital will see their emissions cut by up to 95% and that more than half of London’s entire bus fleet will be upgraded to meet the latest ultra-low Euro VI emissions standard.
Through the new program, valued at 86.1 million British pounds, or $111 million, approximately 5,000 buses will be retrofitted with a new exhaust system that will significantly cut their emissions. This means that by September 2020, the entire bus fleet will be at least Euro VI standard.
According to the mayor’s announcement, Transport for London will work with bus operators and five chosen suppliers to install the new exhaust systems, which will reduce nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. Diesel particulate filters will also be installed alongside this Selective Catalytic Reduction equipment to reduce air pollution.
Currently, between 700 and 800 new low-emission buses are being introduced to the fleet every year, with diesel-only buses being phased out, as previously reported. From next year, all new double-deck buses will be hybrid, electric or hydrogen. In addition, all buses within the central London Ultra-Low Emission Zone are set to be Euro VI hybrid standard by 2019.
Last week, the mayor also set out in his draft transport strategy that by 2037 at the latest, all 9,200 buses across London will be zero-emission.
“We know that pollution from our roads is a major contributor to London’s toxic air. That’s why we are working so hard to introduce new clean buses on our streets and why we are continually looking for innovative ways to clean up the most polluting buses,” says Khan. “There’s no doubt that by cutting the emissions of more than half of the fleet by up to 95 percent, this innovative retrofit program is going to make a huge difference to Londoners.”
Following a competitive tender process, the five suppliers appointed to retrofit the exhaust systems are Amminex, Baumot Twintec, Eminox, HJS and Proventia.
According to the mayor’s announcement, more than 40 new apprenticeships are being created to support the program. The apprentices will be employed by the five suppliers and will work across the project in a range of areas, from installation and servicing to management.
The announcement notes that one-third of the city’s fleet runs on B20 biodiesel, in addition to 2,500 hybrid buses, 71 electric buses and eight hydrogen fuel cell buses.
Earlier this year, the mayor announced an inaugural Low Emission Bus Zone in Putney – the first of 12 set to be introduced across London. Only buses that meet the toughest emission standards will be permitted to run within the zones.