Transport for London is looking for an iconic bus to become a heir of the Routemaster, as bendys (those accordian buses) are also common in other European cities and aren't catching on in London. One proposal caught our attention because it's a complete rethinking of the bus' structure to reduce fuel consumption and make it "greener" by giving additional uses to the platform. It's the OnRoute and Freight*BUS concept. The outside retains some of the looks of a real London bus, the inside is all new.
The new structure is based on two ideas: distributed in-wheel electric motors and an array methods to produce electricity used in the bus: simple batteries, fuel cells, hydrogen tanks, LPG-fueled EV generators, and the like. Those generators would be fitted in a 200mm deep space in the main floor of the bus and on the side of the bus driver. Then the structure can become a platform that allows many possible configurations, including freight transport. According to the creators, buses work only at 20 percent capacity during off-peak hours. The seats are flexible and hung from the ceiling, so changing the configuration is possible in seconds. Routes would be created that link hubs for cargo and routes that serve people. The architecture of the bus also allows for mixed use, which is also good for the environment.
[Source: On Route]