UK-based Traction Technology Plc. is using the Enova 120kW hybrid drive system in combination with a supercapacitor energy storage system in four series hybrid Optare Solo Buses contracted by Merseytravel. The award follows competitive trial evaluation by Merseytravel.
Optare’s Solo is a low-floor midi-bus that is available in six lengths ranging from 7.1 to 10.2 meters. Conventional models are powered by either a Cummins 5.9L, 150 kW (201 bhp) ISBe Euro4 six-cylinder turbodiesel or a MAN 4.6L 132 kW D0834 Euro 4 four-cylinder turbo diesel.
Traction Technology replaces the conventional powertrain with a 1.9L Volkswagen diesel genset and hybrid drive system. Traction’s systems are based on the Eneco EPack, introduced for the Optare line in 2004.
Traction, formed to exploit the growing demand for environmentally friendly transportation technology, acquired the assets, including the intellectual property, of Eneco in May 2006. Eneco had been in administration.
Testing of the Traction Technology hybrid systems showed that carbon dioxide emissions are reduced by 33%, NOx emissions by 38%, HC emissions by 99% and particulates by 39%. In addition, fuel savings of over 33% have been regularly achieved in trials, according to the company.
Testing at Millbrook on the LT buses test cycle of the earlier Eneco hybrid system applied in an Optare Solo resulted in an average fuel consumption of 25.4 L/100km over five tests—a 28% decrease in consumption compared to the 35.4 L/100km of a comparable conventional model.
In November 2007, Traction Technology signed a Memorandum of Understanding with The Optare Group for the joint development of a range of single-deck series hybrid vehicles for the UK bus market. (Earlier post.)