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Ireland bids to cut bus emissions with plug-in capable electric hybrid propulsion systems

BAE Systems’ new plug-in technology means that as well as using the onboard generator to charge itself while the bus is on the move, the buses can also plug into the grid for power.

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The technology provides towns and cities with a new opportunity to improve air quality
The technology provides towns and cities with a new opportunity to improve air quality

BAE Systems has delivered its first plug-in capable electric hybrid propulsion systems to bus and coach manufacturer Alexander Dennis (ADL), which is supplying a fleet of new public buses to Ireland’s National Transport Authority (NTA).

 

The Series-ER (electric range) systems will power a fleet of up to 600 Enviro400ER hybrid buses in Ireland. BAE has supplied systems for an initial 100 buses to be followed by an additional 180 systems for buses next year.

 

Improve air quality

 

The Series-ER system enables buses to run for up to five kilometres at a time with the engine turned off. This capability provides towns and cities with a new opportunity to improve air quality. BAE Systems reports the buses will use up to 35 per cent less fuel when compared to a conventional bus.

 

“The Alexander Dennis Enviro400ER is ideally suited for flexible operating needs including zero-emission running at air pollution hotspots,” said Paul Davies, president and managing director at Alexander Dennis.

 

“With the ability to externally charge the batteries, the use of on-board power generation can be further reduced. This new generation of double-deck buses for Ireland once again demonstrates that with ADL’s focus on innovation, we are building the buses our cities need to solve their transport challenges.”

 

The company’s new plug-in technology means that as well as using the onboard generator to charge itself while the bus is on the move, the buses can now also plug into the grid for power, giving operators another way to recharge their buses.

“Clean transportation technology in our cities is critical to reach a zero-emission future”

The bus propulsion system includes an electric motor and generator, an enhanced battery, and smart electronic controls to create a clean form of electric drive propulsion for the buses.

 

According to ADL, the system allows operators to take advantage of green grid power, and sets them up for full electric operation in the future. Operators can use the grid for power – much like an all-electric bus – and add more battery capacity to increase their engine off time.

 

In many instances, this will mean an entire route can operate on grid power when the necessary charging infrastructure is in place, ADL added.

 

Zero-emission future

 

“Clean transportation technology in our cities is critical to reach a zero-emission future,” said Ian Wilson, director of business development for power and propulsion solutions at BAE Systems.

 

“Our system will help Ireland take the next step towards full electrification and improve the air quality where people live, work and visit.”

 

BAE Systems develops and services its technology at its facilities in Endicott, New York, and Rochester, UK. The Irish NTA buses are the first in the world to benefit from the company’s new plug-in technology

 

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