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London's getting the world's first all-electric double-decker bus

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London's red double-decker buses are going green. No, we're not talking about a change to their iconic paint-jobs: Mayor Boris Johnson today announced plans to introduce an all-electric model in the capital. London is already served by hundreds of hybrid and eight all-electric single-decker buses, but the new double-decker variant is set to be a world first. That's not surprising, given such a large and heavy vehicle will require more, or higher capacity batteries to continue picking up passengers throughout the day. (Wireless charging can only help so much.) The new vehicle is being developed by BYD and will be trialled on route 16 between Cricklewood and Victoria Station from October.

Transport for London (TfL) announced back in March that route 312, which runs between Norwood and South Croydon, will become the first route in London to be served entirely by all-electric buses. Today, the Mayor reiterated that pledge and said the roll-out would be completed before the end of 2015. So the next time you're in London, pay extra attention when you're crossing the road -- public transport is about to get an awful lot quieter.

[Image Credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images]

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