Friday, 12 September 2014
Wrightbus KERS ready for service trials
In the wake of GKN’s announcement of its Gyrodrive with Go-Ahead bus operator, Torotrak has revealed that its KERS technology in a Wrightbus is ready for start of public service trials.
Wrightbus, of Ballymena, Co. Antrim, exhibited its prototype bus fitted with the Flybrid KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) at the recent Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle (LCV) exhibition.
Wrightbus estimates a five year operator payback for the technology, and exhibiting the KERS-equipped bus at the Cenex LCV show marks a major step forward in the development programme.
The KERS technology, which could reduce bus operators' fuel bills by up to 15 percent, is progressing to public service trials, which are expected to begin in October with a Wrightbus single-decker Streetlite used by Arriva in Kent. According to Torotrak, the Streetlite is light I weight and good with fuel economy. The competing GKN system has been fitted to a double-deck bus. Torotrak claims it is aiming to capture two-thirds of the market with its flywheel-based system.
Following a successful validation programme, the new Flybrid bus KERS, developed by Torotrak, will enter service with Arriva in the autumn. The bus displayed at the event was the first customer bus from Arriva to be fitted with the KERS system and will be the first fully mechanical hybrid bus to travel on a public service route in the UK.
As part of the project with Wrightbus, Torotrak has also developed a highly accurate route simulation tool which enables operators to calculate the potential savings on various routes using the Flybrid system. This has been validated by extensive testing using the industry standard duty cycles at Millbrook Proving Ground.
Operators can also expect further savings from the purely mechanical system, which uses no high voltages and is designed for the full service life of the bus. With no additional training costs and low lifetime maintenance, Torotrak believes resale values for these Flybrid-equipped vehicles will also remain high.
Jeremy Deering, Torotrak's chief executive said: "We believe this is going to be the most cost-effective bus hybrid technology on the market, because the financial savings pay for the technology roughly in the first third of a bus's operating life, the system is commercially highly attractive to fleets. We believe this will lead to high take up of our technology, delivering a significant reduction in CO2 emissions especially in urban environments.