Under the umbrella of the EU’s “Horizon 2020″ project, the ECOCHAMPS project develops hybrid technology for passenger and commercial vehicles. The aim of this consortium, which consists of a total of 26 partners, is to develop an efficient, compact, robust and cost-effective hybrid driveline for the various intended purposes.
As one of the partners involved, MAN is constructing a hybrid bus that should be up to 20 percent more efficient in the drive line. “In the city bus segment in particular, we are seeing huge potential for using eMobility applications. However, the Total Cost of Ownership plays an especially significant role for transport operators and carriers,” explains Dr. Götz von Esebeck, Head of eMobility at MAN Truck & Bus.
“For this reason, we are working continuously to find both technical and economic improvements for our solutions.” For this, the company is, for example, promoting the standardisation of components as well as considerations of how high-volume passenger vehicle components can also be used in commercial vehicles. This will essentially require the technological building blocks to be available both for trucks and buses.
In essence, MAN sees the hybrid drive as a meaningful addition to its product portfolio at this time. Hybrid buses can make a valuable contribution to low-emissions traffic both as a bridging technology until purely electric transit buses are introduced onto the market and as an addition to the vehicles used currently, for example in shuttle traffic bringing passengers from non-urban areas into inner-cities.
Furthermore, in vehicles with conventional drives, hybrid technology can also contribute significantly to both environmental protection and economy, by recovering braking energy, saving it for a short period, and using it for auxiliary drives, for example. For this very reason, as part of this project, MAN is developing a concept for a basic vehicle with electric driveline. Depending on customer requirements, different energy sources can then be integrated, for example a diesel generator or a fuel cell. This will also make it easy to add additional storage capacity to a purely battery-electric vehicle which is charged in the depot.
MAN will present this basic hybrid bus, developed as part of the ECOCHAMPS project, to the public in Q4 of 2017.