Valence Technology, Inc. is supplying the lithium phosphate battery for Heathrow Airport’s first electric bus. The Optare Solo’s electric drive is powered by an 85 kWh, 600V Valence U-Charge lithium iron magnesium phosphate battery system.
The pack can be recharged through regenerative braking in transit and plug-in power at the bus base at Heathrow.
The all-electric Optare Solo, which went into service on 5 September, shuttles British Airways staff between Terminal 5 at Heathrow and the British Airways headquarters at Waterside. Operated by Flights Hallmark, the Solo is the first all-electric bus in operation at a UK airport.
Covering a daily route of between 50 to 60 miles, the green-branded Solo is expected to log nearly 18,000 miles per year, reducing CO2 emissions by an estimated 20 tons compared to a diesel-powered bus.