Great Britain. Electric bus burning in London’s clean transport zone? Two falsehoods at once


A spectacular recording of a burning bus in Great Britain has millions of views online. There is a story circulating that an electric bus is on fire in London’s Clean Transport Zone. However, it is neither an electric vehicle nor London.

It is shared en masse on social media – also on Polish-language profiles video, which shows a double-decker bus burning in the city. Flames and thick clouds of smoke are coming from the vehicle, almost completely filling the space between the two buildings, where the bus was probably standing at the bus stop. Most Internet users who published this recording argue that it is an electric bus. They claim that it caught fire in London, in the clean transport zone, i.e. an area inside the city where only ecologically powered vehicles, e.g. electric, hydrogen or CNG vehicles, can enter.

Opponents of such zones in the city and electric vehicles themselves ridiculed the idea of ‚Äč‚Äčecological transport by publishing the film. “London. Clean transport zone. Electric bus launched eco mode”; “Eco sreko you won’t get far. Electric bus in the ‘clean transport zone’ yesterday in London”; “Enjoy clean air in London’s Clean Transport Zone! Thanks, Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London – ed.)”; “Ladies and Gentlemen. This is how ultra-eco power presents an electric bus in London’s clean transport zone”; “And they have their own super ecological electric cars”, “What a fresh air. Perfect for breathing. Pure ecology”; “One bus polluted the air so much that the entire diesel fleet wouldn’t do it in a year. Fake ecology” – there were plenty of similar comments on Facebook and X platforms.

Posts with incorrect descriptions of a video with a burning busFacebook/X

Videos of a burning bus generate huge reach; one of the Polish entries on Facebook had two million views, and the videos on the X platform had several hundred shares.

However, posts such as those quoted above are another example of disinformation aimed at discrediting electric cars. Because the bus visible in the recording is not electric, and the film is not from London at all.

Not electric, but diesel

Verifying this recording is not complicated: just enter two keywords in the Google search engine: “bus” and “fire” (i.e.: bus and fire) to get results such as movie titled “Burning Bradford bus wasn’t electric” or article BBC portal “The fire brigade extinguished a bus fire in Bradford city center”.

From these materials we can learn that the burning bus did not have an electric engine, only a diesel engine, i.e. the popular diesel engine. Specifically, it is the StreetDeck Ultroliner EU6 model. On official website its manufacturer wrote that it “offers the cleanest diesel engine in its class and strictly complies with the latest EU6 exhaust emission standards.”

Not London, but Bradford

Moreover, the bus did not catch fire in London, but in Bradford – a city in West Yorkshire located over 300 km from the capital of Great Britain. Based on the fragments of buildings visible in the video, it can be confirmed that the bus caught fire while standing on Broadway Street near the main square in Bradford.

IN article The BBC reports that a fire broke out on the upper deck of bus number 607 on Monday, October 9, in the afternoon. Three fire brigades were called to the scene and managed to extinguish the fire. No one was injured as the fire broke out after the bus reached its final stop and let off passengers. It is not known what the cause of the ignition was and whether it had anything to do with the bus engine – the services will only determine it based on monitoring recordings. There is no information in the text that the bus will be electric.

In Bradford city centre applies clean transport zone, but it is not very restrictive because it does not apply to, among others, passenger cars and motorcycles. Light trucks and vans that do not meet exhaust emission standards can enter the zone after paying a fee. Buses like the one seen in the video can also operate in the zone because they meet exhaust emission standards.

False posts about electric fires are nothing new

This fake news is another example of a recording in which a fire in a combustion vehicle is presented as the ignition of an electric car. For example, in April 2022 we described in Konkret24 a recording titled “What happens to an electric bus when its batteries burn?”. It showed a bus with flames erupting from it, but contrary to the description, the vehicle was not electric, but powered by methane.

The authors of false messages about electric cars want to convince recipients that such vehicles are dangerous, difficult to extinguish, and emit large amounts of pollutants during fires. As in the case of the video from Bradford, it is always worth checking whether the spectacular fire of a given “electric” vehicle is not a fire of an ordinary combustion car.

Main photo source: Brian Minkoff/Shutterstock

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