Mechanical hybridisation is way to go for low-carbon bus fleets 07 September 2015

Low-carbon commercial vehicle technology specialist Torotrak is urging bus and coach operators planning to buy hybrid vehicles to carefully research the engineering options before committing.

“Hybrid buses will be integral to a low-carbon public transport network in the UK, but operators need to ensure they are fully conversant with the technologies on offer, particularly with regard to cost,” states Torotrak business development director Tobias Knichel.

“Capital investment, training requirements, service costs and re-sale value are all considerations for a conventional vehicle and there is no reason for a hybrid purchase to be approached any differently.”

Unsurprisingly, Torotrak believes that a mechanical KERS (kinetic energy recovery sysem), fitted to a vehicle such as the Wrightbus StreetLite, is ideal for operators wanting a robust, cost-effective route to hybrid vehicles.

“Our goal from the outset was to develop a system that works in real-life without subsidy, requires no bespoke employee training or additional infrastructure and delivers good residual value,” insists Knichel.

“This is exactly what we have achieved,” he says, adding that the Flybrid KERS for buses has a design life of one million km / 40,000 hours of operation and eight million charge/discharge cycles – equivalent to the working life of the vehicle.

As for cost, Knichel says the additional investment needed for a Flybrid installation is one quarter that of the a full battery electric hybrid – meaning a payback timescale of less than five years.

Torotrak’s Flybrid qualifies for the maximum 75% subsidy available under the LEB regulations for its class of technology.

“Flybrid technology already offers a long life, low-maintenance hybrid solution with significant advantages in respect of initial capital investment and subsequent fuel savings and vehicle residual value,” asserts Knichel.

The Flybrid system can be ordered now for fitment to a Wrightbus StreetLite bus.

Brian Tinham

Related Companies
The Wright Group Ltd
Torotrak (Development) Ltd

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