A French company founded in 1955 having an assembly plant near Toulouse having an annual capacity of 200 vehicles has come out with a new concept to drive electric bus revolution. Safra has showcased a Businova – a 10m long bus.
Bi-modular chassis – OH WAIT!
Very innovative indeed. This design has effectively reduced the unladen weight of the chassis allowing an enhanced capacity of 70 passengers in a 10m bus.
Bus On Display
The bus on display was an electric-hybrid. A 10m long bus with 200KW electric motor and a 3.0 Litre 80KW diesel engine which serves as a range extender.The bus has an operating range of 200 Kms. Electric motor powers the primary rear axle while the range extender (I/C engine in this case) powers the plug-in axle.
How is it done?
The Businova motorisation comprises two drive chains (electric and hydraulic ) which revolve around a power distribution unit , operating efficiently to propel the Businova. Conversely, during braking phases this system offers optimal recovery of the kinetic energy of the vehicle. The innovations of the Businova are not confined to the drive chain but also comprise intelligent management of the auxiliary systems. It is the combination of these developments which enable the overall efficiency of the vehicle to be significantly increased.
An energy pack loaded on a dedicated axle is towed under the rear of the bus allowing for complete modularity and flexibility to use this vehicle as a full electric, hybrid electric or anything else in future. Contrary to the conventional design we are used to seeing, no passenger space is taken away by the drive train.
Charging, that easy
The recharging point installed at the depot does not require any complicated, expensive installation work. A simple terminal plugged in to a 380 V power outlet is all that is needed to recharge the vehicle in 6 hours overnight.
Is it just a concept then?
Well the CEO Mr. Vincent Lemaire exhibits great pride about the 10 buses running in France and explains how he is preparing to export the bus to North America.