Transport for London (TfL) and electric vehicle manufacturer BYD announced last week that the city of London is putting in service its firsts long-range all-electric double-decker buses – picture above.

The first 5 BYD all-electric buses will operate on Route 98 on behalf of TfL by Metroline.

Route 98 was chosen because of its status as a “pollution hotspot” in the city, according to a joint press release from TfL and BYD.

London’s Deputy Mayor of Environment and Energy Matthew Pencharz on the announcement:

“It’s a very exciting moment that this is happening here. The running costs are much lower and some of the maintenance and operations costs are much lower on the buses. Also, these [buses] are zero-emission, zero-tailpipe-pollution and that is a huge benefit for Londoners.”

BYD will also help install fast-charging stations at Metroline’s Willesden Bus Garage in north London.

The buses are equipped with BYD’s massive 345 kWh battery packs capable of around 190 miles of range of urban driving, which is generally more than enough for a regular daily bus route. The five buses are more than 33 feet long and feature air conditioning, seats for 54 passengers with space for 27 standing passengers (81 total).

The London project is interesting and attention grabbing due to the iconic nature of the city’s double-decker buses, but in term of volume, it’s just a small project for BYD. Last year, the China-based company delivered the world’s largest electric bus fleet in Shenzhen.

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