Ballymena bus maker the Wright Group has launched a new chapter in its development with the unveiling of its ground breaking eco bus in London.
City Hall was the venue for the launch of the new zero-emission double decker featuring a new hydrogen fuel cell driveline due to be production ready from next year.
The new technology, co-developed in Co Antrim, provides a zero-emission drive system comprising a hydrogen fuel cell and a battery pack to power the vehicle. The combination of these two technologies makes the continuous daily operation of the public transport vehicle feasible.
Offering a reliable system with no emissions, all Wrightbus hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will feature an electric drive axle packaged to allow a full flat floor throughout the bus, a zero-emission heating/cooling system, the ability for overnight charging if the operator desires, and remote diagnostics.
Key to the success of this concept, which has been trialled in London over several years, are lightweight hydrogen storage tanks, and an automatic battery management system which continuously monitors and balances the stored power while the vehicle is in service.
“Wrightbus is a company where innovation and technology is at the core of everything we do, and we have led the way in the practical development of clean vehicle technology in buses over many years,” said Dr William Wright co-founder and Wrights Group director.
“This vehicle joins the recently launched StreetAir EV and brings an interesting new dimension to zero-emission bus technology offering transport operators a responsible choice to help address the world’s environmental challenges.”
Group chairman and CEO Mark Nodder said: “This exciting new zero-emissions driveline technology, developed with support from our partner Advanced Propulsion Centre UK (APC), is the pinnacle of our on-going work to deliver highly innovative buses with the best possible fuel consumption and environmental credentials that are supported throughout a long and productive operational life.”
The project has been part funded by the APC under a grant for common platforms and assembly methods for Ultra Low Emission Buses.