London mayor Boris Johnson reveals new type will use GPS technology to operate in all-electric mode when operating in air pollution hotspots.

Transport for London has taken the wraps off the New Bus for London development vehicle and has announced that the first six vehicles off the production line will enter service with Arriva early next year.

Between now and the types entry into service, the development vehicle will undertake a rigorous series of trials at the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire to validate the vehicle’s structure.

TfL has also speculated that the design, which is intended primarily for use on busy central London routes, could also spawn a family of vehicles using the type’s revolutionary technology and put to use on routes throughout the capital.

Ballymena-based manufacturer Wrightbus, which holds the contract to develop and build the vehicle, expects fuel consumption of around 10 miles per gallon from the series hybrid drive system, a 40% cut in NOx emissions and a 33% cut in particulate matter emissions when compared to a conventional bus.
At a press briefing where the development vehicle was presented to the media, London mayor Boris Johnson revealed that the new vehicle will also use new technologies to help cut air pollution in the capital.

“Using GPS technology we will be able ultimately to instruct buses to switch to electric in those air quality hotspots like Oxford Street,” he said.

Although Leon Daniels, TfL’s managing director of surface transport, has revealed that Arriva will operate the first of the new vehicles, he declined to reveal upon which route they will operate.

“Whilst there is a great enthusiasm to get the prototypes on the road we are determined to get some miles on the clock and test the structure,” he said.

See the New Bus for London being put through its paces at Millbrook in our video below