Abellio London, a prominent bus operator contracted by Transport for London, has finalized an order for electric buses from Northern Ireland's Wrightbus. The eco-friendly fleet is set to commence operations on various routes across the British capital in the coming year, featuring a mix of single and double-deck versions.
Wrightbus will supply a total of 24 GB Kite Electroliner solo buses and 56 StreetDeck Electroliner double-deckers to Abellio London throughout 2024. Notably, the GB Kite Electroliner claims an impressive energy efficiency of 0.69 kWh/km, approximately half the energy consumption of its closest battery-electric double-deck counterpart in the UK. This remarkable performance surpasses all other battery-electric single-deck buses listed on the ZEMO website, according to Wrightbus.
The 2024 Kites boast several safety features to meet Transport for London's (TfL) standards, including front and nearside blind spot warnings, a tire pressure monitoring system, automated emergency braking, and a dynamic stability test. The interior design aligns with Abellio's specifications, featuring high-back seats throughout, a wood-effect floor, USB chargers, and mobile phone holders integrated into the seats. Furthermore, the vehicles are equipped with a more spacious area for wheelchairs and buggies.
Jean-Marc Gales, CEO at Wrightbus, expressed, “It has been a real team effort between Wrightbus and Abellio to deliver these orders, which will help customers enjoy cleaner transport.” Abellio's Managing Director, Jon Eardley, highlighted the company's commitment to advancing electric bus technology in London, positioning itself as a leader in the adoption of zero-emission buses across its six London depots.
The electrification of Abellio's depots is underway in collaboration with Zenobe, the same company working with Arriva, another major bus operator. Abellio London already operates zero-emission buses from manufacturers Caetano and BYD-ADL in the city.
This significant order for electric buses, set to be manufactured at Wrightbus's headquarters in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, marks a crucial step towards a greener and more sustainable future for public transportation in the UK's capital.