Zero Motorcycles Launches DS Electric Dual Sport Motorcycle
National Research Council Report on America’s Energy Future Highlights Vehicle Efficiency Technologies, Conversion of Biomass and Coal-to-Liquids Fuels, and Electrifying the Light Duty Fleet with PHEVs, BEVs and FCVs

Hybrid DLC-Battery Energy Storage System for Streetcars

Siemens earlier this year launched a new hybrid energy storage system for streetcars that combines a double-layer capacitor (DLC) and NiMH battery pack. Streetcars equipped with the Sitras HES hybrid energy storage system can be driven up to 2,500 meters (1.6 miles) without an overheadcontactt line (OCL).

Vehicles equipped with the energy storage systems consume up to 30% less energy per year and produce up to 80 metric tons less CO2 emission than vehicles without energy storage systems. Thanks to a new connection concept, Sitras HES and Sitras MES can be retrofitted in existing vehicles without any difficulty; the tramway infrastructure remains completely unaffected.

In Portugal, the hybrid energy storage system has been successfully used in passenger services since November 2008. It has also been certified according to BoStrab (German Construction and Operating Code for Tramways) for use in the public transport.

The Sitras HES hybrid energy storage system consists of two energy-storing components: the Sitras MES mobile energy storage unit (double-layer capacitor, DLC) and a nickel-metal hydride battery. The systems are mounted on unused roof surfaces of a tram and electrically connected to the feed-in point of the vehicle by means of a DC/DC-chopper.

Thanks to this new autonomous connection concept, the energy storage system can be directly integrated into new vehicles or built into ones that already exist. When the vehicle is in operation, the energy storage units are charged during braking. A tram can use this stored energy to travel relatively long distances without having to be supplied with power from the contact line. The energy storage units can also be recharged on routes with OCLs or stationary charging stations, for example at stops.

The high energy content of the traction battery also allows operation in case of an OCL-failure or maintenance work on the OCL as well as when unforeseeable problems arise on routes without OCLs.



A step in the right direction to eventually remove the overhead cables and maintain the benefits + of electric trolleys.

Combination ESStor ESSUs + lithium-air batteries (cells) could run much longer runs between charges. A few charging points along their route (or at each end) would be enough. City buses & suburban trains could be equipped with similar units.

Trolleys, city buses and suburban trains can have more on-board e-storage than cars without affecting their overall performance.

Replacing the existing ICE noisy city buses with e-buses would do a lot for the environment and quality of life in our cities while reducing Oil imports and GHG.



This sounds like a good system. People on here have been talking about a way to charge the bus when it is waiting for a schedule syncronization and passengers at civic centers and the like.

Super caps and batteries are getting better all the time. I would like to see many more smaller buses making more frequent passenger pickups. If you only had to wait 5 minutes for a bus, maybe more people would use them.



The problem with smaller buses is the rising high cost of the person in the driver seat.

We have a few hundred of those small buses for handicapped people and the per trip cost is almost $100. Regular taxis would cost about 3 times less, but how do you get a wheel chair in a regualr taxis? Electrified London type cab (or equivalent) may be a better solution.

Much smaller e-buses may be economical with a robot behind the wheel. Who knows it may come sooner than we think. Driverless city e-cars or small e-buses may be a good mid-term solution.


I could see computer assistance for reducing stress on the driver and increasing safety. I do not think that you need a robot driver, that is a bit far fetched. How or where you come up with the $100 per ride 3 times the cost statement, I have no idea. I find that hard to believe.

What I am advocating is more effective mass transit, so more people will use it more often. So, we have to hire another 100 drivers in each city of 100,000 people and pay them, I see no problem with that.

You state your opinions and I state mine. I bet if I proposed my ideas to the average person on the street, I would get a good response. Even if I told them that bus ride will cost $2 rather than $1, but they only have to wait 5 minutes for a bus and not 1/2 hour. When you give people ALL the facts, they can usually make some pretty practical choices.


The problem with mass transit is its bloody expensive. Its soo expensive they have to pan out the cost to alot of people who dont use it and never will. Thus it can never handle all that large a percentage of the people or it will run out of people to pay for it. The problem with that of course is when times get hard the people paying but not using cut funding AND the number of people depending on it grows.

Henry Gibson

It is a very good idea.

I have been watching Parry People Movers for years and two of their vehicles are now in revenue operation. The flywheel hydraulic technology may be less costly than any ultra-cap. In fact, Flybrid is cooperating in KERS flywheel-electric systems now.

It would have been very nice to see the INNAS NOAX free piston engine pump the hydraulic system of the flywheel and Artemis motor-pumps on the flywheel and wheels of the Parry vehicles.

The CISRO super-cap-lead battery technology combined with EFFPOWER'S bipolar high current battery could likely be less costly and complicated than Siemen's system.

One system in France uses switched conductors at ground level which would be far easier and cheaper to implement with the Siements system. In any case a five KW range extender and tank of ethanol should always be available. The streetcars could run faster than walking with five KW and only emergency lights.

ZEBRA batteries are good enough to give tens if not hundreds of miles without conductors; eventually all catenarys can be eliminated with switched ground level power pickup. It has been tried for over a hundred years and France might have it working well in a few years with microcontrollers and transistors. It is much simpler to run a system when the vehicle can go miles without power with a few failed or inactive flooded segments. Charging only at stops is well within modern capabilities. The range of a ZEBRA battery is very good, but accelerating power can be assisted with super-caps or flywheels.

High performance flywheel locomotives were invented to make use of the third rail electrified multi-unit passenger systems in England with more convenience and lower cost than steam locomotives for goods traffic on those rails. The locomotives could even wait on signals for minutes without power and pull the train out of the stop. These locomotives ran through WWII, and after, until replaced by electro-diesels that used electricity when available and diesel when not.

Capstone should demonstrate their turbines with one of these vehicles on a very long non-electrified stretch.




I got the cost figures from the operators:

1) Avg taxis (2008) ride = $33 CAN

2) Avg TOTAL cost per ride(2008) for special small buses operation per handicapped customer ride = $99 CAN.

The small specialized bus operation cost per trip could be reduced by half with two passengers instead of one but it would require more trip planning to get two passengers form the same point A to point B at the same time. Right now it operates more like a taxi service with a specialized very expensive bus + a very highly paid driver. Soon, there will be two operators on each bus because the drivers union will not allow the drivers to touch the wheel chairs. When that happens, the per trip cost will go to something like $175 CAN

Of course, small bus opertion for regular (8 to 10) passengers would cost much less depending on the average load factor. The $100 CAN per vehicle/hour remains and will go up with vehicle, fuel and driver's wages. The average passenger/ride cost would be much closer to $10 than $2 but still cheper than a taxi fare with one passenger but close to the same fare with 3 passengers.


Our small transit buses take the handicapped but also seniors and people that need a ride. Sure it is subsidized and there are only a few people on each bus, but that can be improved.

I think driving a bus must be one of the most stressful low paying jobs that there is. Traffic, passenger complaints, road work and everything else adds up over an 8 hour shift 5 days per week.

If we can use computers, range sensing, vision systems and/or right of way to make the driver's job easier, we might get more drivers that stay on the job longer. For every passenger that rides these mini buses, there is one less on the road in a car and less fuel used per passenger mile.


Its not so low paying some bus drivers make 80k a year

The comments to this entry are closed.