Environmentally friendly transport of the third millennium – that is the new hybrid bus made by Škoda Electric
A new hybrid bus fully developed and manufactured by the Škoda Electric company started operating in the Western Bohemia city of Plzeň. The hybrid bus thus becomes the newest member of the current vehicle fleet in Plzeň. Its advantage is the ability to use an ecological battery drive which is environmentally friendly and has a significantly lower consumption than classical buses.
The new hybrid bus Škoda H12 is intended primarily for zero-emission areas in city centres. “The electric bus is able to use a battery drive which does not emit any fumes into the air and which is moreover not noisy. It thus constitutes an ideal means of transport for residential areas. Running on its battery and emission-free drive the bus can go as far as 10 km without the need of battery re-charging or the use of a diesel generator. This design is suitable especially for the intensive traffic in cities with a high frequency of starting and braking at relatively slow speeds,” says Karel Majer, director of the division Trolleybuses Škoda Electric.
The ability to save fuel by tens of percents constitutes a significant advantage of the hybrid bus, this is primarily the result of the recovery of electric energy which is produced during the braking of the vehicle. “The energy is conserved in energy accumulators – batteries and supercapacitors – and subsequently it is re-used during driving. The vehicle equipment includes also a set of semi-conductor converters of a completely new generation which are used not only for optimal control of the traction drive itself but also of the energy flows through the energy accumulators and auxiliary drives of the vehicle. In the course of development special and significant attention was paid to the strategy of controlling the independent diesel electric generator with the aim of minimizing fuel consumption in all the operation modes,“ explains Jiří Flajtingr, head of the hybrid bus project.
In order for the new vehicle from Škoda workshops to start regular operation, it had to meet a whole range of legal homologation conditions including demanding test drives which took place for example also outside the common road network, at the testing centre TÜV in Úhelnice near Mladá Boleslav. It was necessary to prove and verify a whole range of technical parameters and Czech and European legal standards.
The project of developing a new 12-meter long low-floor vehicle was started in the Škoda Electric company in Plzeň during 2009. The Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the University of West Bohemia in Plzeň also took part in the development, it participated in the design and development of the drive unit of the bus and primarily in its driving. The prototype drove its first passengers during test drives already in 2012. This year the hybrid bus commences its normal operation with passengers. The hybrid bus may be seen next week at the international conference “Smart and Healthy Municipal Public Transport” which takes place from 9th to 10th April in Plzeň.
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Škoda Transportation was established as one of the companies related to the Skoda Plzen and its tradition. Skoda Transportation has its own research and development, through which supplies market-leading products. It offers electric locomotives (Skoda 109E), trams (Skoda Skoda ForCity and Elektra), subway cars, trolleys and components for rail vehicles. The company products are successfully delivered to a number of Czech and European cities. More information on www.skoda.cz.