On the 16 December a new, next generation double decker bus, was presented in London. Transport for London that commissioned the buses, claims the hybrid double-decker bus “will be the most environmentally friendly bus of its kind when it enters passenger service.” The engineering test vehicle uses a hybrid drivetrain developed by Volvo and emits only 640 grams of CO2 per kilometer. This is less than half of that of current diesel buses emits. During testing fuel economy was also better than twice that of a standard diesel bus, clocking in at 11.6 mpg.
Transport for London awarded the contract for engineering design early 2010 to Wrightbus, a company based in Northern Ireland. Wrightbus in collaboration with London’s Heatherwick Studio have now have finished the first prototype, and is ready to show it off. London Mayor Boris Johnson proudly proclaimed at the unveil that “It is the latest, greatest masterpiece of British engineering and design, and I am certain it will become a much-loved and iconic vehicle akin to the legendary Routemaster from which it draws so much inspiration”. The first bus is planned to begin carrying passengers on the busy Route 38 (Victoria station to Hackney) on February 20, 2012.