Arriva London is to welcome 50 new zero-emission electric vehicles into operation this year, building further on its pledge to deliver a sustainable and environmentally friendly bus network. The vehicles, manufactured by Wrightbus, will include what Arriva says will be an enhanced specification to benefit customer experience and feature ‘aesthetically pleasing’ on-board lighting, wood-effect flooring, hi-resolution destination screens, digital customer information screens, and USB charging points.
Their arrival into Arriva’s Enfield, Brixton Tramshed and Thornton Heath garages will be the next phase of Arriva London’s sustainability plan. In 2022, the company transformed its Brixton Tramshed operation to fully electric vehicles. To ensure the new Wrightbus zero-emission vehicles can bring the same environmentally friendly and efficient operation to Enfield and Thornton Heath as in Brixton, the company says a programme of works will begin imminently, managed by Zenobē, to complete electrification infrastructure at both depots.
Commercial Director Graham Davies said: “Welcoming the new Wrightbus electric fleet into our Enfield and Thornton Heath garages, whilst further strengthening our Brixton based fleet, it is an exciting milestone in our continued journey to operating a greener, decarbonised bus network across London. We are delighted to once again be working in partnership with Wrightbus and Zenobē on this project to support TfL’s long-term vision.”
As well as the headline benefits of improving the on-board customer experience, supporting sustainability, and delivering cleaner air, Arriva says its new electric fleet also presents unique opportunities to upskill its workforce, drivers and engineers being a vital part of the successful rollout and ongoing management of the new buses.
Managing Director for Parts and Services at Wrightbus Ian Gillott said: “It has been a real team effort between Wrightbus and Arriva to deliver these exciting and significant projects. It is fantastic to see Arriva taking this vital and progressive step to decarbonise public transport to help the UK hit its ambitious net zero targets. It also illustrates our ambition to be at the forefront of the zero-emission drive in cities, towns and rural areas across the world.
“Wrightbus is at the forefront of this technology. Indeed, the StreetDeck Electroliner BEV is the world’s most efficient double deck battery-electric bus. Tests conducted by vehicle testing group UTAC showed the StreetDeck consumed around half the energy as its closest BEV double deck UK rival.
“Not only is it more energy-efficient, but according to Ultra Low Emissions Bus Scheme (ULEB) calculations, the StreetDeck Electroliner also produces 86% less CO2 per kilometre than the Zemo Euro VI diesel baseline.”
The buses also mark another step towards the realisation of the Mayor of London’s plans to reduce and remove emissions across bus routes; around 900 zero-emission buses are currently in use in London. TfL’s Director of Buses Louise Cheeseman said: “These new buses will not only play a key role in helping to clean up the capital’s toxic air and tackle climate change, but will also have new features to improve customer experience including digital information screens and USB charging points. The buses were built in the UK, helping British manufacturing and the economy thrive, once again placing the iconic London bus at the vanguard of a growing industry.”
For Zenobē, being a part of this new vehicle roll-out is a further expansion of an existing partnership to deliver a net zero-emission fleet. Zenobē co-founder and Director Steven Meersman said: “The addition of 50 Wrightbus zero-emission vehicles is another strong testament of Arriva London’s commitment to the decarbonisation of transport in the capital. Fourteen of these vehicles will be out on the roads as part of our ongoing partnership with Arriva Brixton Tramshed. Through our agreement we guarantee to deliver the charging required to the fleet of Wrightbus vehicles and support the performance of the batteries on them, and we’re pleased to extend this service to the new vehicles.
“At Enfield and Thornton Heath we will design and build charging infrastructure at both depots, including the integration of our smart charging software to ensure Arriva London’s rapidly growing fleet is optimised to be both economically and environmentally sustainable. We are also pleased to incorporate Wrightbus vehicles into our technology agnostic charging optimisation software for the first time, demonstrating its agile interoperability with multiple vehicle and hardware types.”