London’s iconic double decker buses are getting an environmentally friendly makeover. Transport For London has announced plans to create five new electric buses, each of which will cost in excess of £350,000 (around $499,000) to construct. According to The Evening Standard, the shiny red buses will retain their famous exterior, but beneath the hood they will be 100 percent electric.
The first of the brand new fleet is set to hit the streets starting next month and will be the world’s first fully electric double-decker bus. The buses are part of a pilot program, which means if all goes well, more electric buses could be in store for Londoners.
According to Tech Story, the new buses were designed to run all day on a single charge, and will be able to travel up to 180 miles before they need to be plugged in. Buses take four hours to completely re-charge, which means they’ll likely be charged each night in preparation for the next day’s journey.
In addition to cutting down on air pollution, the near-silent buses will also cut down on noise pollution and represent a step towards a healthier London.
“We know London’s air quality is not as good as it should be,” Leon Daniels of Transport For London told The Evening Standard. “Buses represent a material amount of the vehicles on the roads. Cutting their emissions will make a material difference to London’s air quality.”
[h/t Evening Standard]