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New zero-emission double-deckers to hit London's streets

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-06-21 01:21
A BYD electric bus is seen in London, Britain. Photo provided to China Daily

China-UK cooperation bringing a huge fleet of them to the UK capital

London’s commuters will be riding on 68 new zero-emission double-decker buses next summer, a fleet that will largely be possible as a result of China-UK collaboration.

More than half of the buses will be cooperatively manufactured by BYD Company Ltd, one of China’s largest private automakers, and Alexander Dennis Ltd, a renowned British bus and coach maker.

The news was announced at a national air quality meeting on Wednesday that brought together city leaders from throughout England and Wales.

London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, said: “Today’s summit is a historic moment for the country. Leaders from across England and Wales have never met in such numbers to tackle our nation’s toxic air quality. It shows how serious our problem is and how committed we are to tackling it.”

Poor air quality, which emissions from vehicles contributes to, is estimated to be responsible for more than 40,000 premature deaths each year in the United Kingdom, according to a research published last month by the University of Oxford and the University of Bath.

“In London, we’re helping to lead the way with my Ultra Low Emission Zone, and I’m delighted to be able to announce a Europe-leading new fleet of electric double-decker buses too,” Khan explained. “We’re doing all we can to improve our air quality and we need the government to match our ambition to solve this national health crisis.”

BYD and Alexander Dennis won the largest part of the first order, which means 37 of the new electric buses will be designed at the Alexander Dennis facility in Scotland and at BYD’s R&D center in Shenzhen. The vehicles will be assembled in Britain.

The zero-emission buses will be based at Metroline’s Holloway Garage in North London and will serve Route 43, which runs through the heart of the city.

Transport for London, which is also known as Tfl, the authority that manages transportation in London, said all buses in the capital will be zero-emission by 2037.

It is not the first time that BYD has provided vehicles for Metroline. In October 2015, five double-deckers that were built in China were supplied to the company.

Isbrand Ho, managing director of BYD Europe, said: “Our joint team has made tremendous progress in winning tenders for TfL routes across the capital with our 10.8 and 12 meter single-deckers. But with 6,800 double-deckers on London streets, their full electrification is the key to making maximum beneficial impact on air quality for Londoners.”

Han Baoyi contributed to this story.

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