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

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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.


As a part of our commitment to making London greener for everyone, @TfL are introducing 20 new emission-free electric buses in 2023—and they only take 10 minutes to charge.

I look forward to seeing these new buses in action.

— Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan (@MayorofLondon) November 1, 2022

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 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.

Photos: TfL

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