London’s red double-decker buses will soon approach silently. Busmaker Optare has ordered the AxTrax AVE electric portal axle from ZF to equip 31 buses. Also in the States ZF announces a new chapter in their existing partnership with New Flyer as they are to equip 100 buses with ZF’s technology.
ZF introduced their electric portal axle AxTrax AVE for the first time in 2012. It can be combined with all kinds of low or zero emission technology such as a hybrid, fuel cell or battery powered electric bus.
This latest orders are for electric buses that are to run in major cities in the UK and USA. In both cases, ZF is working with partners to install their solution in their electric vehicles.
First in London, where Ashok Leyland subsidiary Optare will build the electric axle into 31 units of their Metrodecker EVs.
The buses are part of a city-wide push for electric transport. Already next year, Transport for London (TfL) aims to run 240 electric buses and wants to ensure that all double-deckers will run on electricity by 2020. The electrification of the whole fleet including the lower coaches is scheduled for 2037.
London has also decided to expand the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to the North and South Circular boundary in 2021. The new ULEZ will cover an area 18 times larger than the ULEZ in the city centre, which will come into full force by April 2019, 17 months earlier than planned (we reported).
Across the pond, ZF has been working with New Flyer for over 20 years. The bus maker now ordered the AxTrax AVE for a total of 100 buses from the Xcelsior CHARGE model series. Once built, the electric buses will be delivered to public transport companies in several U.S. cities by 2020. The order includes operators in Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston and Minneapolis.