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Arctic Whisper fast-charged hybrid bus wins Elmia Future Transport Award; 18 hours of all-electric range

Hybricon (Umeå, Sweden), co-developer of the Arctic Whisper fast-charged hybrid bus (earlier post), won the Future Transport Award in the category of Public Transport during the bi-annual Elmia Future Transport Fair in Sweden.

The Future Transport Award is awarded to highlight good examples and role models who have developed effective, environmentally sound and economically viable transportation solutions for personal travel and freight transport.

Two Arctic Whisper buses are currently undergoing testing in Umeå, Sweden with initial passenger revenue service beginning soon. The initial test results are very promising and will be presented at the European Electric Vehicle Conference in Brussels on 27 October 2011. The fast rechargeable hybrid bus is a collaboration between the companies Hybricon AB, Opbrid SL (Granada, Spain), e-Traction BV (Apeldoorn, Holland), Umeå Energi AB and the Umeå City Corporation.

The Arctic Whisper’s hybrid bus batteries are fast-charged by the Opbrid Bůsbaar for 5-10 minutes at the end of its route to achieve nearly 100% all-electric operation but with the reliability of diesel; i.e., the Bůsbaar charging extends the all-electric range of the e-Traction hybrid bus to 18 hours. And, since this is a serial hybrid bus with a backup diesel generator, the bus can continue running on diesel or bio-diesel in case of brown-outs, traffic jams, or very cold weather.

At the end of the route, the driver pulls up underneath the Opbrid Bůsbaar charging station, and the tram-like pantographs on the bus roof quickly raise up to contact the Bůsbaar. The charging process is completely automatic, with the driver never having to leave the bus. When the batteries are charged, the driver continues on as normal. The batteries are also fully charged at night, with the Bůsbaar providing the additional electricity needed for a full day of electric driving.



This could the ideal interim PHEV city bus, at least until such times as batteries energy density has tripled or even more.

With its extended range and very quick charge, this may as close as you get to BEV city bus performance. The on-board genset does not have to be very large. A few Kw would be enough to take this e-bus to the next charge point.


It is a great idea - just recharge at each end of the route.
+ you can run on diesel if you have to or something unexpected comes up.
As long as the batteries have enough charge/recharge cycles, you are fine.

If you have to charge it every hour, that could be 12 charges / day or say 4300 charges / year.

If you want it to last 20 years, it better be able to last 80K+ cycles.

On the other hand, because you have diesel, you could manage the charge depth very carefully to preserve the batteries; and if you had to replace the battery after 5 years, it wouldn't be the end of the world.


You could installed enough batteries so that they never discharge more than the 40% level going the assigned route. This way, many batteries would last 5 to 10 years.


Indeed, the combination of fast charging and a range extender is extremely flexible. For example, you can run the batteries far longer, perhaps to 50% capacity before replacing. All you will notice is that the range extender comes on more often. Lots of other possibilities, like commands from the electric grid to use diesel instead of electricity during a brown out. etc.

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