The replacement for the iconic London Routemaster bus has entered service today. The New Bus for London will collect its first fares on the 38 route from Hackney to Victoria. The first bus will be joined by another seven prototypes by the end of May.
The new bus uses a 4.5-litre diesel engine to power an electric motor, which produces 1844lb ft from standstill. This technology means the 17,900kg vehicle emits 640g/km of CO2, which is half that of a current diesel-engined bus. Fuel economy of 11.6mpg is twice that of a standard bus.
In May 2011, an engineering test vehicle was unveiled at Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire. The vehicle underwent months of intensive structural, engineering and emissions testing and drove more than 6000 miles in conditions simulating London traffic.
Internal features include three entrances and two staircases to enable fast boarding and alighting of passengers, as well as an open rear platform. Other technology includes LED lighting, new hard-wearing fabric and wireless bell pushes.
In 2007, Autocar’s Associate Editor, Hilton Holloway began to consider what a 21st century version of the iconic London Routemaster would look like. A collaboration with Capoco Design resulted in the Routemaster Olympian, a concept which morphed into the New Bus for London.
The New Bus for London was the subject of Autocar's Christmas 2011 road test.