Transport for London (TfL) recently launched 20 purely electric tram-buses named “iTram” for the city’s public transport, according to Electrek. Beginning in 2023, these modern and green London buses will operate on the 358 route between Crystal Palace and Orpington.
Go Ahead, the biggest bus company in London purchased the electric tram-buses from Spanish e-mobility manufacturer Irizar. Notably, Irizar has never before produced and introduced right-hand drive trams in the United Kingdom.
Inverted pantograph systems
One of London’s longest bus routes will have the 12-meter-long (39-foot-long) tram-buses fully charged in just 10 minutes. Irizar clarified in a statement yesterday:
“[They’ll] be charged between trips using two fast-charging inverted pantograph systems to be installed at Crystal Palace and Orpington Bus Stations, allowing the buses to be charged in less than five minutes and enabling them to perform the required service effortlessly. After finishing the route, the buses will receive a short top-up using the depot-based chargers.”
It is worth noting that buses operating on the all-electric route 132 between North Greenwich and Bexleyheath also employ the inverted pantograph system.
Remarkably, the interiors of the tram-buses are also quite stylish. It offers USB ports, Wi-Fi, Braille buttons, luggage racks, and passenger information.
More iTram buses
Approximately 850 electric buses are now being used for public transportation in London. TfL plans to introduce additional electric tram-buses on other London routes if the 358 route’s pilot program is a success.
In its Bus Action Plan, TfL pledged to have a zero-emission bus fleet operating in London by 2034. The agency claims that, with more money, it may be able to advance this goal to 2030.