New buses switch to electric power in polluted areas

The government is paying two-thirds of the cost as part of an experiment to find out how well it works. Credit: ITV West Country

The first of two new hybrid electric buses have taken to the streets of Bristol.

The vehicles switch automatically from diesel to electric power in the most polluted areas. The city is the only one outside London to get the latest technology.

Although looking like normal double deckers with diesel engines, the buses use a form of sat-nav to switch to cleaner electric power when they enter congested zones with poor air quality.

A map showing the route between the city centre and the University of the West of England, as well as highlighting the air quality switchover areas. Credit: Bristol City Council

The route runs between Bristol City Centre and the University of the West England in Frenchay. The bus switches between electric and diesel throughout the journey.

James Freeman from First West of England explains how the unique technology will work: