Northern Irish built hybrid joins London fleet

Photo by TfL/Geoff Caddick

Photo by TfL/Geoff Caddick


The first production series hybrid vehicle was launched into service today (Tuesday December 2nd) by David Brown, Managing Director of Surface Transport, Transport for London (TfL).

The double deck, unveiled at Horse Guards Parade, demonstrates Mayor Boris Johnson and TfL’s commitment to cleaner, more fuel-efficient public transport.

The Gemini 2 HEV unveiled today is one of five going into service for FirstGroup with another five also due to enter service with Arriva in London this winter.

The Wrightbus Gemini 2 HEV, which made its debut last month at Euro Bus Expo, has been developed following a long-term in-service evaluation with Arriva in London. Also available in conventional diesel form, the Series Hybrid Electric variant features Siemens ELFA® traction components, with energy provided by a Ford Puma 2.4 litre diesel engine with Lithium Ion batteries.


The other new London hybrid vehicle to feature Wrightbus bodywork is the Volvo B5L Hybrid Double Deck, which sports the original Wrightbus Gemini body. The Volvo B5L Hybrid is specified with a driveline comprising Volvo’s D5E 5 litre, Euro 5 compliant, diesel engine and Volvo’s ISAM (Integrated Starter Alternator Motor) which provides parallel operation of diesel and electric power, coupled to the Volvo     I-Shift 12-speed gearbox.

The new double decks are not the first Wrightbus hybrids to go into service in London. The company supplied their first Electrocity single deck hybrids to TfL in 2006 and there are currently 12 of these, plus one Gemini HEV, already in operation in the capital.

Today’s launch was attended by the Wright Group’s Business Development Director, Jonathan Poynton and William Wright, Director and Co-founder of the group, who commented, “We’re proud to be leading the way in the development of hybrid vehicles for public transport and are delighted that Transport for London sees hybrid technology as playing a key role in the future of London’s public transport. We’re confident that our experience gained in operating this technology in London over the past couple of years means that the new vehicles will deliver even more in terms of improved fuel consumption, air quality and passenger satisfaction.”


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