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Siemens and Vinamotor launching first diesel-electric series hybrid bus in Vietnam

Siemens and the Vietnam Motors Industry Corporation (Vinamotor) are launching the first hybrid bus with a combined electric/diesel drive in Hanoi. The project is the first of its kind in Vietnam.

Vinamotor hybrid. Click to enlarge.

The vehicle uses the ELFA series hybrid drive system developed by Siemens. The buses consume up to 50% less fuel and reduce exhaust emissions by the same amount.

Public transportation is one of the biggest challenges for Vietnamese cities— and many other metropolises in Asia, Siemens notes. Their populations are growing rapidly and, at the same time, city buses are often the only form of mass transit. The buses add significantly to air pollution and have high fuel costs.

In the ELFA system developed by Siemens, the electric motors act as generators during braking and feed electricity back into an energy storage unit. The bus can use this energy to run entirely on electric power for stretches at a time and thus with zero emissions. Depending on the capacity of the energy storage unit, the range is between several hundred meters and several kilometers. The bus operates more efficiently, emits less exhaust and is quieter because the diesel engine does not rev up during acceleration.

Buses with ELFA drive technology have been in operation in various cities around the world for a number of years, including London, Munich and Nuremberg. In Vietnam, Siemens has been working together with the bus manufacturer, Vinamotor, since 2012 to integrate the technology into its buses.

The first prototype recently went into service in Hanoi. In a three-month test run, an international team of technical experts from Siemens is currently optimizing the bus for the requirements of Vietnamese environmental and operating conditions. At the end of this phase, series production of the hybrid buses will begin with Vinamotor.


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