The Anonymous Widower

Wrightbus Presents Electric & Fuel Cell Single-Decker Buses

The title of this post, is the same as that as this article on Electrive.

This is the first paragraph.

The Northern Irish bus manufacturer Wrightbus is introducing a new single-deck bus with battery and fuel cell propulsion. The new models of the GB Kite series in the Hydroliner FCEV and Electroliner BEV variants can each accommodate up to 90 passengers and are scheduled to go into series production in 2022.

This means that Wrightbus now have single and double-deck zero emission buses with both battery and fuel cell propulsion.

These are my thoughts.

High Commonality

There may be four different buses, but they have a surprising amount in common.

In this press release on the Wrightbus web site, which is entitled Wrightbus To Showcase Two New Zero-Emission Buses, there is this paragraph.

Both buses share an 86% parts commonality with their Double Deck sisters which delivers significant benefits to operators in terms of reducing complexity and costs for fleet maintenance.

Vehicle manufacturers have been looking for high commonality for many decades and it is amazing that Wrightbus have achieved such a figure.

We mustn’t forget the advantages, Wrightbus will get from such commonality in terms of production, product support and the supply of parts and sub assemblies.

Passenger Capacity

The passenger capacity of the four buses are as follows.

  • Double-decker – Hydrogen  – 86
  • Double-decker – Battery – 95
  • Single-decker – Hydrogen  – 90
  • Single-decker – Battery – 90

Note.

  1. These figures come from the Wrightbus web site.
  2. The site says that the figures for the single-decker buses depend on bus length and specification.

Does the similar capacity of all the buses give operators more flexibility?

Range

The range of the four buses are as follows.

  • Double-decker – Hydrogen  – 350 miles
  • Double-decker – Battery – 200 miles
  • Single-decker – Hydrogen  – 640 miles
  • Single-decker – Battery – 300 miles

Note.

  1. These figures come from the Wrightbus web site or the press release for the new single-deck buses.
  2. These ranges are claimed by Wrightbus as best-in-class.
  3. But surely the range of 640 miles for a single-deck zero-carbon hydrogen bus opens up some interesting and unusual routes.
  4. Single-deck buses appear to have a longer range than their double-deck sisters.

There is also a degree of battery size flexibility in the battery-electric buses to suit an operator’s routes.

Single-deck battery-electric buses are available with these battery sizes and charging times.

  • 340kWh – 2 ½ hours @ 150kW
  • 454kWh – 3 hours @ 150kW
  • 567kWh – 3 ½ hours @ 150kW

And these are the figures for the double-deck battery-electric buses.

  • 340kWh – 2 ½ hours @ 150kW
  • 454kWh – 3 hours @ 150kW

Note.

  1. Both single- and double-deck buses can use the two smaller batteries.
  2. I would assume that they are similar and it’s all part of the commonality.
  3. Both buses can also be fitted with a pantograph to charge the batteries, when the routes present an opportunity.

Could the largest battery be fitted to the double-deck bus? Perhaps at some point, but I suspect, that currently, a weight limitation applies.

The Fuel Cell

This sentence from the Electrive article, describes the fuel cell system of the hydrogen bus.

The fuel cell solo bus model is very similar in design. Instead of the pure BEV drive, the GB Kite Hydroliner FCEV has a Ballard FCmove fuel cell with 70 kW or 100 kW and a small supplementary battery with 30 or 45 kWh on board.

It appears, there is flexibility in the power.

Forsee Batteries From France

This paragraph from the Electrive article, talks about the batteries.

Incidentally, Forsee Power is acting as the supplier of the batteries for the BEV buses. The Bamford Group, new parent of Wrightbus, had extended the partnership with the French battery manufacturer in October 2020 with a new contract for several hundred battery systems per year. Forsee Power announced the introduction of extra-thin battery modules earlier this year and directly named Wrightbus as the launch customer for the modules of the new Slim series. Whether these batteries are now already being installed in the two Electroliners is not specified. However, the high storage capacity of the 567-kWh top battery leads us to assume this, at least for the solo bus model.

Forsee’s slimline batteries seem a major advance in the powering of vehicles like buses.

It certainly looks like extra-thin is beautiful, where batteries are concerned.

Conclusion

This is a formidable line-up of four zero-carbon buses, that can be tailored to an operator’s needs.

When linked tom Jo Bamford’s company; FUZE, which I wrote about in New Company Established To Help Transition Bus Fleets To Hydrogen, Bamford’s deck of cards look even stronger.

Will Jo Bamford do for the bus industry, what his grandfather did for diggers? I wouldn’t bet against it!

 

 

September 24, 2021 - Posted by | Hydrogen | , , , ,

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