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Sadiq Khan, London’s mayor, revealed the world’s first double-decker hydrogen bus in London as part of a commitment to phase out purchase of new pure diesel buses in the city from 2018. (Greater London Authority photo)

London moves toward green buses in effort to cut pollution

London Mayor Sadiq Khan unveiled the world’s first double-decker hydrogen bus at the end of November as part of a commitment to phase out purchase of new pure diesel buses in the capital's fleet beginning in 2018, according to a release from London’s City Hall. Additional news: all new single-deck buses for central London will be zero-emission.

The mayor has made cleaning up the capital’s air pollution, blamed for 9400 early deaths a year, a priority of his tenure, Bloomberg reported.

The new Wrightbus-manufactured hydrogen double-decker is slated to take to London roads next year in a trial run. The announcement from City Hall says it forms part of the Mayor’s plan to transform the capital’s bus fleet by phasing out the oldest and most-polluting diesel buses and eventually making the entire fleet ultra-low or zero emission. According to the release, the Mayor wants all London buses to meet the Ultra-Low Emission Zone standard during 2020.

The announcement noted that at least 20 new hydrogen buses will be delivered as part of a £10m part-EU funded project that supports hydrogen technology.

Khan is calling on other cities to follow London’s lead and work together to challenge bus manufacturers to produce more zero-emission buses and make cleaner bus technology less expensive.

With Khan’s initiative, London joins 11 other major cities, including New York, Los Angeles and Amsterdam, that have committed to begin moves to phase out their procurement of pure diesel buses by the end of 2020. Additionally, Paris, Madrid and Mexico City have committed to removing diesel buses from their cities by 2025, the release stated.

“I want London to become a world leader in hydrogen and electric bus technology,” Khan said in the release. “I’m implementing hard-hitting measures to clean-up London’s toxic air and it’s great that more cities are getting on board to phase out the procurement of pure diesel buses, which sends a clear signal that only the cleanest technologies are wanted in our cities.”

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