New London Buses Celebrate the Past, Look to the Future
Passengers traveling between the borough of Hackney and historic Victoria Station have been given a glimpse of the greener future of London’s iconic bus system.
A new bus inspired by the original double-decker Routemasters and powered by a Cummins ISBe 4.5 litre engine, carried locals and visitors using state-of-the-art hybrid technology.
Cummins engineers worked closely with Wrightbus in Northern Ireland, which won a contract in 2009 to build prototypes in keeping with London Mayor Boris Johnson’s vision of a city bus inspired by the Routemasters but with features befitting the 21st Century.
Wrightbus is expected to build 600 of the new buses over the next four years, representing the largest order of hybrid buses ever placed in Europe.
The Cummins engine is connected to a Siemens’ hybrid transmission. The engine drives a generator which supplies energy to a lithium-phosphate battery pack, which in turn provides electrical current for new electric drive motors.
Regenerative braking feeds otherwise wasted kinetic energy back into the battery pack from the electric motors. The end result is the most environmentally friendly bus of its kind, resulting in improved air quality and reduced carbon emissions.
“Cummins is pleased to work with Wrightbus and Transport for London on this exciting project,” said Neil Pattison, Regional Sales Leader. “We are able to provide a solution which delivers benefits for vehicle operations and the environment.”
Cummins ISBe 4.5 litre engine also power Alexander Dennis’s Enviro 400 double deck hybrid buses. Supported by funding from the UK Green Bus Fund promoting low carbon buses, there are over 400 units in service in London and other major cities such as Oxford, Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh.