Boris tests 21st century Routemaster

Boris Johnson has revealed the prototype of a new green bus that has been “specially designed” for London. At the Millbrook testing centre on Friday, the Mayor took the wheel […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Boris Johnson has revealed the prototype of a new green bus that has been “specially designed” for London.

At the Millbrook testing centre on Friday, the Mayor took the wheel of the New Bus for London to showcase its ability.

The NBFL uses a hybrid engine that can switch from diesel to electric when going through the city centre.

He told ELN that he was “dazzled and a little bit amazed” at how far the bus has come since the planning stage, which began just over a year ago in January 2010.

The environmental benefits of the technology are the stand out feature for the bus, he said: “It’s hi-tech stuff that we’ve got here, these permanent magnet motors can deliver great reductions in fuel consumption, quieter buses.

“The key thing that I like about it, as someone who’s dealing with air quality issues in London, is the prospect of switching it off, the ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) element, when going through air quality hot spots like Oxford Street.”

Transport for London believes the new engine will reduce NOx emissions by 40% and particulates emissions by a third.

Wright Group, the makers of the bus, expect to finish testing the NBFL in the next three months. The first six hybrid buses could hit the streets of London by early 2012.