GKN and Go-Ahead sign F1 hybrid flywheel deal for London buses 29 July 2014

Industrial drives giant GKN and bus operator Go-Ahead have agreed a deal that will see electric flywheel systems, developed for F1 racing, retrofitted to 500 buses over the next two years.

The system, acquired from Williams Hybrid Power earlier this year, will help increase the efficiency, fuel consumption and emissions of every bus, so help to improve city environments.

The GKN Hybrid Power Gyrodrive systems – the same technology as helped Audi's R18 e-tron win at Le Mans last month – use a high-speed flywheel (made of carbon fibre) to store energy generated by a vehicle as it slows down – then powering an electric motor which helps accelerate the bus back up to speed.

Fuel savings of more than 20% are claimed – and at a significantly lower cost than battery hybrid alternatives.

The 500 systems order covers the supply of the complete Gyrodrive system, including the GKN Hybrid Power flywheel, as well as the company's EVO electric motor, a GKN-designed and manufactured gearbox, and installation.

Philip Swash, cheif executive of GKN Land Systems, says the system is designed to last for the life of the bus, soeliminating the need for any battery changes.

"This is an important milestone for GKN Hybrid Power. We've worked in close partnership with Go-Ahead throughout the development of this innovative technology and it's very exciting to move into the production phase," states Swash.

"Our collaboration with GKN has been a most constructive one," adds David Brown, CEO of Go-Ahead.

"We have a strong record in continually reducing our carbon emissions, and flywheel technology will help us make buses an even more environmentally responsible choice," he continues.

And he adds that following successful trials on buses in London, Go-Ahead will use the technology in cities it serves across the UK, initially retrofitting its London and Oxford fleets.

Brian Tinham

Related Companies
GKN Automotive
GKN Hybrid Power

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