Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) will supply two electric buses to serve in a transportation system being planned by the city of Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. The buses—full-size, low-floor models for the city’s regular route network—will operate on MHI’s high-performance “MLIX” lithium-ion rechargeable batteries.
In combination with a lighter body enabled by the partial adoption of carbon fiber construction, the new buses will be able to operate continuously over increased distances—up to 80 kilometers (50 miles) on a full charge, at a top speed of 85 km/h (53 mph). Load capacity is 72 passengers.
The drive motor is a 3-phase asynchronous AC induction unit with maximum output of 240kW; the 621.6VDC battery pack has 93.24 kWh of capacity, and operates with a state of charge window of 10-90%.
The MLIX cells use MHI’s own prismatic cell design and stacking architecture.
Kitakyushu’s plans call for the new buses to go into service in the city in late march. In October, renewable energy generated by solar power will be stored in an energy storage system (ESS) for use in recharging, resulting in a zero-emissions transportation system.
The new buses measure 11.065 meters (m) in length, 2.495m in width and 3.475m in height, and weigh 11,250 kilograms (kg). Use of a specially developed charger enables full recharging in approximately half the required time, compared with current CHAdeMO type quick charging systems.
The MLIX lithium-ion rechargeable battery to be featured on the new electric buses is lightweight, compact in size, and offers reliability and long service life. The battery has already achieved a significant track record through its widespread adoption in cargo container-type energy storage systems, hybrid forklifts and other advanced products developed and marketed by MHI.
A variety of demonstration tests of the electric buses have been conducted in numerous locations both in Japan and overseas, including São Paulo, Brazil.