Skip to main content

Check out London’s new electric tram-buses that charge in only 10 minutes

Transport for London (TfL) has unveiled its latest clean public transport – 20 fully electric tram-buses. These futuristic, bubble-like London buses will run on the 358 route from Crystal Palace to Orpington from 2023.

The London electric tram-buses were acquired by Go Ahead, London’s largest bus operator, from Spanish e-mobility maker Irizar. The London tram-bus is officially known as the iTram. It’s the first time Irizar has made and launched right-hand drive trams in the UK.

The 12-meter-long (39-feet-long) tram-buses will charge in just 10 minutes total on one of London’s longest bus routes because, as Irizar explained yesterday in an announcement:

[They’ll] be charged between trips using two fast-charging inverted pantograph systems to be installed at Crystal Palace and Orpington Bus Stations, allowing the buses to be charged in less than five minutes and enabling them to perform the required service effortlessly. After finishing the route, the buses will receive a short top-up using the depot-based chargers.

Here’s what the inverted pantograph system looks like:

Photo: Irizar

The inverted pantograph system is also being used on buses on the all-electric route 132, which runs between North Greenwich and Bexleyheath.

The tram-buses are also pretty swish on the inside, too, and feature USB chargers, Wi-Fi, Braille buttons, luggage racks, and passenger information.

The 358 route is a tram-bus pilot, and TfL says that if it’s successful, it will roll out more electric tram-buses on other London routes in the future.

There are currently around 850 electric buses being used for public transport in London.

TfL has committed to delivering a zero-emission bus fleet in London by 2034 in its Bus Action Plan, and it says, subject to additional funding, may be able to bring forward its target to 2030.

Read more: Meet the UK’s fastest EV charger: 62 miles of range in 3 minutes

Photos: TfL

UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Stay up to date with the latest content by subscribing to Electrek on Google News. You’re reading Electrek— experts who break news about Tesla, electric vehicles, and green energy, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow Electrek on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our YouTube channel for the latest reviews.



Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.