In China, some cities have ordered thousands of electric buses. Unfortunately, most cities around the world haven’t even tested out one yet. But the ones that have been piloting them have generally found out that they work well and can cut air and noise pollution while costing the same as a diesel bus on a lifetime basis.

London has run a pilot project with a BYD electric bus, and things turned out well enough that it just decided to order 50 more. The 50 electric buses will be the only buses running on two Transport for London (TfL) lines — the 507 and 521. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the buses won’t start running until fall of 2016.

Go Ahead won the contract and will decide in the end which electric buses to use (top contenders are certainly BYD and Proterra).

Of course, this is just the beginning. “By 2020 all 300 single deck buses operating in central London will be zero emission (either electric or hydrogen) and all 3,000 double deck buses will be hybrid,” TfL writes.

“Today’s announcement follows the introduction of the first of two new electric buses, manufactured by Spanish company Irizar, into passenger service earlier this week. At a Global Clean Bus Summit hosted by City Hall in June, Mayor of London Boris Johnson also announced a world-first trial of a purpose built pure electric double deck bus that will begin in October.” So I guess Irizar is a contender, too.

“The Ultra Low Emission Zone that will be introduced in 2020 is the most ambitious measure of its kind taken to tackle air pollution anywhere in the world, and it will transform our bus fleet into a cleaner, greener and more pleasant way of travelling for Londoners,” Deputy Mayor of London for Environment and Energy, Matthew Pencharz, said.

Kudos to London.

You can find a lot more details on London’s bus fleet and plans here.

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