News in brief (18/11/2016)

With news on: Optare launches fully electric double-decker bus; Mayor backs Heathrow legal action, and; ITM Power gets hydrogen refuelling station go-ahead.

Optare launches fully electric double-decker bus

Optare and Go-Ahead London have launched the Metrodecker EV prototype, a fully electric double-decker bus with a forecast range of 105 to 145 miles on a single charge. 

(l-r): Robert Drewery, commercial director at Optare; Graham Belgum, president at Optare; Richard Harrington, engineering director at Go-Ahead London, and; John Trayner, managing director at Go-Ahead London

(l-r): Robert Drewery, commercial director at Optare; Graham Belgum, president at Optare; Richard Harrington, engineering director at Go-Ahead London, and; John Trayner, managing director at Go-Ahead London

The Metrodecker EV will go into service in central London with Go-Ahead London in early 2017, to prove the concept and provide operational feedback to aid further development.

Bus manufacturer Optare is working on further developments to the vehicle, which will increase the range in production vehicles to over 150 miles.

Robert Drewery, commercial director at Optare, said, “As the leaders in efficient, electric bus technology, a fully electric double deck was the next logical step for Optare.

He added: “Across all trials we have conducted on the Euro 6 diesel version of the Metrodecker, the vehicle is consistently delivering class leading economy.”

Go-Ahead London provide nearly a quarter of London’s buses with vehicles, travelling 80 million miles annually on over 199 routes.

Richard Harrington, engineering director for Go-Ahead London, commented: “We are delighted to be able to put the Metrodecker electric bus through its paces in London. We will be assessing performance and canvassing driver & passenger feedback on this exciting development from Optare.”


Mayor backs Heathrow legal action

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has hit out at the environmental impact of a third Heathrow runway and voiced his support for a legal challenge of the Government’s decision to back the proposal.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan says the ruling is a 'wake up call' to government

London Mayor Sadiq Khan says he ‘won’t stand by’ increased pollution from a third runway

Earlier this week (16 November), the Mayor revealed that he has directed Transport for London (TfL) to assist affected councils as they prepare for a joint legal challenge with Greenpeace against a third runway at Heathrow.

Affected councils include Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth and Windsor and Maidenhead.

It is likely that TfL will be named in this action as an interested party. As and when that happens, the Mayor will take a decision on joining the legal challenge.

Sadiq Khan said: “I promised I wouldn’t just stand-by and see hundreds of thousands suffer from the additional noise and air pollution that a third runway would cause. These decisions show that I’m ready to help ensure that this misery isn’t inflicted on Londoners.”

Commenting on the Mayor’s intention to back legal action, ClientEarth lawyer Alan Andrews said: “The Department for Transport’s own evidence has shown that the average car emits six times the legal pollution limit when driving on Britain’s roads.

“If they plug that data into their models it will show that air quality standards will be breached around Heathrow well beyond 2025. They need to take action to clean up illegal levels of pollution round Heathrow now, not just to compensate for the higher pollution caused by the new runway.”

Earlier this month, ClientEarth won its second court case against the government over levels of air pollution (see story).


ITM Power gets hydrogen refuelling station go-ahead

ITM Power has announced it has been granted full planning permission from South Bucks district council to construct a hydrogen refuelling station (HRS) at the Shell Filling Station, Beaconsfield.


The hydrogen refuelling station will open to the public in early 2017

The Shell Filling Station is located at the Extra Motorway Services in Beaconsfield, approximately four miles northwest of the M25.

The Beaconsfield station will be the first HRS in the UK to be integrated into the existing fuel forecourt, with the hydrogen dispenser located under the main fuel forecourt canopy. The HRS will open to the public in early 2017.

The station will be deployed as part of the H2ME project and the OLEV HRS Infrastructure Grants Scheme, and is co-funded by the FCH JU and the UK government.

ITM Power, an energy storage and clean fuel company, recently opened its third public access hydrogen refuelling station in East London (see story).  It was also granted permission to construct HRSs at the Shell Filling Station at Gatwick and at the Extra Motorway Service Area Shell Filling Stations off the M25 at Cobham and A14 (M11) Cambridge.

Jane Lindsay-Green, Shell UK retail future fuels manager, said: “We are pleased that Shell Beaconsfield received planning permission and are excited about the addition of hydrogen to the Shell UK network. It is another example of Shell’s commitment to providing low carbon fuels for the future and we hope will provide further encouragement to other stakeholders to support and invest in hydrogen.”


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