The Commercial Vehicle Show - logo image
18 - 20 APRIL 2023 • NEC • BIRMINGHAM • UK

Low-cost hybrid bus trial

Torotrack, Optare, Allison and Ricardo used Euro Bus Expo to show a low-cost, high-efficiency hybrid "Flybus" project.  The Optare Solo midi-bus will use a prototype flywheel-based system to capture braking energy and release up to 100Kw to help the vehicle accelerate, cutting fuel use and emissions by some 20% in stop-start operation.  "The technology offers easier installation than battery-electric systems," said Richard Stone, Torotrak's engineering director, who is leading the project. Compared to a typical battery-based hybrid, the system offers "comparable gains in fuel economy" at a "fraction" of the size, weight and cost.  Stone expects that it will be possible to convert existing fleets without cutting passenger capacity.  The flywheel-hybrid bolts directly onto the standard automatic transmission with Torotrak's CVT managing the energy flow to and from Ricardo's 60,000rpm "Kinergy" flywheel.  The trial will deliver results next year.
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