His Royal Highness Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh has undertaken his first solo engagement of 2017 following a period of ill health.
Prince Philip visited Vantage Power which designs hybrid bus engines in an effort to reduce carbon emissions. Their hybrid solution exists as a retrofit for already existing diesel buses.
Philip is a known environmentalist and served as the UK President of World Wildlife Fund from 1961 to 1982.
The Prince praised the project, which boasts of having the power to boost efficiency with 40% lower fuel consumption while still lowering emissions by a large amount. Currently, the hybrid retrofit is being trialled in London by Transport for London in six buses.
Transport for London currently operates 9,000 buses, and 4,000 are close to requiring refurbishment which would be a promising time to make the move to hybrid bus engines.
During the visit, His Royal Highness toured Vantage Power’s base in Greenford and found out more about the project.
Co-founder Toby Schultz said that: “The Duke really knew his stuff and had a genuine enthusiasm for the project and real technical knowledge about how it worked.
“He was very supportive and interested. He reminded us all that he was one of the first to pioneer the use of eco/electric technology using one of the first cars.”
Prince Philip did drive an electric car in the sixties; as well as that, he has previously owned an eco-friendly Metrocab.
Mr Schultz also added: “He knew all about the different types of batteries and how it all worked.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan is currently exploring ways to reduce the rising toxic air levels in London. Such options explored include charging a £10 toxicity charge on older and more polluting cars if they drive in central London. This will come into effect later this year.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s next scheduled engagement is on 27 February where he, and The Queen, will host a reception to mark the launch of UK India Year of Culture 2017.