As we are set to see the Alexander Dennis Enviro200 MMC BYD eBus appear on Red Arrow routes 507 and 521, Wrightbus have unveiled their range of electric buses.
Wrightbus has unveiled two key new products from its ‘Electrocity’ range of buses - the StreetLite EV and the StreetAir EV. The new offerings are part of a range announced last year which builds upon the company’s extensive experience to date and will provide operators with an unprecedented choice of vehicle formats and charging systems.
The 9.5m length StreetLite EV, which has recently been on a demonstration tour in Europe, builds upon more than two and a half years’ in-service experience with a plug-in bus. The 13 tonne vehicle was first shown on the Wrights Group stand at Euro Bus Expo in 2012 and has since undergone two driveline upgrades.
Joining the StreetLite EV at a ‘ride and drive’ event in Northern Ireland is the WrightbusStreetAir EV, - an 18 tonne plug-in electric vehicle with zero emissions which is based on the current StreetDeck chassis and will be the platform for both single deck and double deck variants at 10.6m lengths.
Both the StreetLite EV and StreetAir EV models will be available with all three main charging options - overnight (plug-in),inductive (as currently in operation on the Milton Keynes trial) and conductive (pantograph) charging.
The StreetLite EV is available in lengths from 8.8m to 9.5m in wheel forward format. The ride and drive vehicle is a 9.5m, single door, single deck vehicle, which has already covered more than 4,000 miles when in spring this year it undertook a demonstration tour in Switzerland, including visits to the capital city of Berne and other major cities and towns.
The tour involved demonstrations for Swiss operators as well as the European trade press, who were all extremely impressed with the bus’ performance, particularly at high altitude. This has led to some promising business opportunities for Wrightbus from Swiss bus operators keen to acquire the vehicle.
Featuring the Siemens ELFA 2 electric drive system, the StreetLite EV used on the tour was in the ‘plug-in’ format, which involves overnight charging of the Nickel Manganese Cobalt batteries and this provides 150 miles, or 18 hours of service per day for the operator.
By utilising a modular build process, Wrightbus is able to offer the three different vehicle charging and associated battery configurations on the same platform, thereby facilitating standardisation across a vehicle fleet and optimising aftermarket support.
Versions of both vehicles will be part of a demonstration programme which will run throughout 2016 and 2017, with series production due to start in 2017.
The new range of electric buses will be supported through Customcare. The vehicles are fitted with the latest on-board and live remote diagnostic battery measuring equipment, which provides real time data for the service support team even before they attend the vehicle.
Dr William Wright CBE, who heads up the alternative driveline division at Wrightbus, explains: “At Wrightbus we have committed ourselves to the design of cleaner, greener buses and have been at the forefront of electric bus technology for more than a decade now. Our team is highly knowledgeable with class-leading expertise in the techniques of electric vehicle development.
“Our philosophy is to provide a range of fully flexible products, particularly in relation to the charging methodology, while built on standard product platforms. This way, the customer can decide which type of technology and format best suits their requirements and those of the location in which they operate, rather than being dictated to by us, the manufacturer. Our team are able to advise and support them to create a bespoke offering which is specifically tailored to their individual requirements and operations.”
Wrightbus also has another article about their electric buses:
Ian Downie, MD of Sales for Wrightbus, said: “We very much welcome the Government’s initiative to promote greener buses and are pleased to learn the details of the recent results announcement.
“The investment is not only good for the environment, it is also driving innovation across the industry. At Wrightbus we believe we have taken the lead in producing cost efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles, while at the same time enhancing passenger experience.”
The Wrightbus range of Low Emission Bus complaint vehicles includes midi, single deck, double deck and a New Routemaster product.
A plug-in 9.5m length StreetAir EV, which has recently been on a demonstration tour in Europe, builds upon more than two and a half years’ in-service experience in Milton Keynes, where eight vehicles have already clocked up 800,000 miles on Europe’s longest electric vehicle route.
Now joining the StreetAir EV range is the 10.6m door forward version, which is based on the current StreetDeck chassis and will be the platform for both single deck and double deck variants at 10.6m lengths.
The StreetAir EV wheel forward (w/f) and the longer StreetAir EV door forward (d/f) range will be available with all three main charging options - overnight (plug-in), inductive (as currently in operation on the Milton Keynes trial with Arriva) and conductive (pantograph) charging.
The electric offerings are comprised of a range of modular concepts, which have been designed and developed by the experienced Wrightbus alternative driveline business unit. This team has a proven pedigree in electric bus development and is dedicated to providing bus and coach operators with a comprehensive choice of green technology options, suitable for a wide range of applications, designed with efficient operations in mind.
Wrightbus has a rich heritage in developing cutting edge technology; recent examples of this are the New Routemaster hybrid-electric vehicles and the all-electric StreetAir EV’s with inductive power transfer (IPT). With more than 800 New Routemasters deployed on the streets of London, and the StreetAir EV with IPT vehicles having completed 800,000 miles to date, Wrightbus understands the requirements of electric vehicles, and more importantly, what technology is best suited for operational efficiency.
The operational demands of the vehicle route and capacity requirements will dictate the technology needed. By utilising a modular build process, Wrightbus is able to provide both single deck and double deck on the same platform, thus optimising aftermarket support.
The focus is on the vehicle charging and battery technology, which are interchangeable within the rear module. The three different options available are:
· Overnight charging utilising Nickel Manganese Cobalt batteries, with a range of 150 miles or 18 hours of service. Suitable for single deck;
· Inductive power transfer (IPT) utilising Lithium ion batteries, with a range of 135 miles or 17 hours of service. The power is supplied through wirelessly transferred power from in ground charging coils, with charging time of less than 12 minutes. Suitable for both double and single deck;
· Conductive charging (fast charge) utilising Lithium ion batteries, with an infinite range and service, dependent upon charging stations. The power is supplied through on street Pantograph systems, fully charging the vehicles in less than seven minutes. Suitable for both double and single deck.
Speaking at a recent press briefing, Dr William Wright CBE, said: “Wrightbus has been delivering a wide range of low emission solutions for many years with options on different and innovative techniques. We believe we have an unparalleled level of experience and capability in the design, development and deployment of electric buses in a number of different types of operation.
“We know that ‘one size does not fit all’ and it is important that customers have plenty of choice when selecting their vehicles and the distance/battery/passenger capacity equation is a difficult balancing act to achieve. We offer the widest and most flexible range of electric options available to bus operators and with our range already in build, we look forward to seeing our vehicles on the road in the coming months and years ahead.”
Ian Downie added: “We confirm we are in discussions with OLEV winning authorities and operators, and placement of any orders with us will be announced in due course upon completion.”
This is very interesting; since Wrightbus unveiled their two door New Routemaster bodywork called the SRM, we may see the electric version of the SRM! We wait though to see the SRM with the Volvo B5LH Chassis as six of these are due to enter on London Buses Route 13 by September.
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