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Alstom and NTL launch electric Aptis as new mass transit mobility solution; four steerable wheels; Paris trials

Alstom and NTL presented Aptis, an innovative electric mobility solution for mass transit. Aptis’ unique and innovative design, based on that of a tram, incorporates low-floor accessibility and 360° views. Two or three large double doors enable easy on-and-off passenger flows and smooth access for wheelchairs and strollers. 95 passengers can travel on this 12-meter long bus.

Operators will benefit from a vehicle that is easy to maintain with the longest lifetime in its category. With four steerable wheels versus two for a bus, Aptis occupies 25% less surface area in curves. At bus stops, this minimizes the space needed to park while offering gains in available space for other vehicles.

With batteries and power systems located on the roof and the wheels situated at both ends with no overhangs, Aptis offers passengers the utterly novel concept of a 20 m2 fully low floor.


Aptis has four tires instead of six for buses, there is an air-cooling system for the motor instead of traditional water-cooling; components are more accessible as they are located on the roof.

In France, STIF has decided to launch two trials, one of which is with RATP. Aptis will undergo test runs in Paris and in the Ile-de-France region during the second half of 2017.


Alstom and NTL will provide not only the vehicle, but an entire system. It includes dimensioning, charging options, road infrastructure, leasing and warranty options, ensuring that cities can smoothly and cost-effectively integrate electric mobility into their transport networks. Thanks to low maintenance and operation costs and a longer lifetime compared to buses, Aptis has a total cost of ownership equivalent to current diesel buses, according to the partners.

Aptis can be charged at night in the depot, or rapidly at the end of each line during daily operations. Fast charging is either via inverted pantograph or SRS, Alstom’s innovative fast ground charging system.

Aptis prototypes are being manufactured in NTL’s factory in Duppigheim, Alsace, with key components manufactured by five of Alstom’s sites in France: Saint-Ouen for the project management and system integration, Tarbes for the traction, Ornans for the motors, Vitrolles for SRS and Villeurbanne for electronic components of the traction.



An interesting vehicle, specially if equipped with an adequate size FC and battery pack to extend range and operate 16 hours/day.

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This is a 200 km range BEV with life cycle costs equivalent to a diesel bus. The Aptis can be recharged in two different modes. The first method recharges batteries overnight using a standard connector (the full battery recharge takes about 6 hours). The other solution can be formed by an Alstom SRS solution (a ground-based static charging system) or from a toppled pantograph, which takes about 5 minutes for charging, equivalent to the time of a short break of drivers - Reference:

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