London takes the wraps off new hybrid double-decker buses

When you think of iconic aspects of London, you probably think of the black cabs, the London underground, telephone booths and their double-decker buses. Well as it turns out, the double-decker bus will be getting a makeover come 2012 and will become a hybrid double-decker bus that officials promise is “most environmentally friendly” and “the latest, greatest masterpiece of British engineering.” Their words, not ours.

The first thing some will notice immediately would be its new design which seems more curvy and somewhat futuristic, and under the hood it will feature a hybrid drivetrain developed by Volvo. According to tests conducted, the new drivetrain emits 640 grams of CO2 per kilometer, half of that of the current fully diesel-powered bus, and is apparently twice as good when it comes to fuel economy than the current bus, clocking in at 11.6 mpg.

The bus is intended for city use where its battery will be charged while the bus is waiting in traffic or at the traffic lights. Long outstation drives or drives along the highway could result in the battery being depleted as a bunch of journalists found out much to their dismay and inconvenience. A trial of eight of these new buses will begin come 20th February 2012.

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