It's important that we do everything we can to keep the air that we breathe as clean as possible in our major cities. But people still need to get around and buses have an important role to play in a city's transport needs.
Hybrid technology helps, of course, but we've gone one better with two new 'virtual' electric buses on route 48A that use GPS systems to make sure the buses run in completely electric mode once they're within Bristol's designated Air Quality Management Area. This happens automatically without the need for any driver intervention. Outside those areas they run as conventional electric hybrid buses.
Each of these buses only has a 4-cylinder 4.5 litre engine, no bigger than 2 family cars, yet can carry over 80 passengers.
The engine is used to charge the batteries when not in all-electric mode.
Although the buses are charged up at night - it only takes about an hour - there is also a top-up induction charging plate at UWE. Just 7 minutes there between trips allows the buses to run for around 20 minutes in all-electric mode.