Wrightbus has unveiled two key new products from its ‘Electrocity’ range of buses - the StreetLite EV and the StreetAir EV. The new offerings are part of a range announced last year which builds upon the company’s extensive experience to date and will provide operators with an unprecedented choice of vehicle formats and charging systems.
The 9.5m length StreetLite EV, which has recently been on a demonstration tour in Europe, builds upon more than two and a half years’ in-service experience with a plug-in bus. The 13 tonne vehicle was first shown on the Wrights Group stand at Euro Bus Expo in 2012 and has since undergone two driveline upgrades.
Joining the StreetLite EV at a ‘ride and drive’ event in Northern Ireland is the Wrightbus StreetAir EV, - an 18 tonne plug-in electric vehicle with zero emissions which is based on the current StreetDeck chassis and will be the platform for both single deck and double deck variants at 10.6m lengths.
Both the StreetLite EV and StreetAir EV models will be available with all three main charging options - overnight (plug-in), inductive (as currently in operation on the Milton Keynes trial) and conductive (pantograph) charging.
The StreetLite EV is available in lengths from 8.8m to 9.5m in wheel forward format. The ride and drive vehicle is a 9.5m, single door, single deck vehicle, which has already covered more than 4,000 miles when in spring this year it undertook a demonstration tour in Switzerland, including visits to the capital city of Berne and other major cities and towns.
The tour involved demonstrations for Swiss operators as well as the European trade press, who were all extremely impressed with the bus’ performance, particularly at high altitude. This has led to some promising business opportunities for Wrightbus from Swiss bus operators keen to acquire the vehicle.
Featuring the Siemens ELFA 2 electric drive system, the StreetLite EV used on the tour was in the ‘plug-in’ format, which involves overnight charging of the Nickel Manganese Cobalt batteries and this provides 150 miles, or 18 hours of service per day for the operator.
By utilising a modular build process, Wrightbus is able to offer the three different vehicle charging and associated battery configurations on the same platform, thereby facilitating standardisation across a vehicle fleet and optimising aftermarket support.
Versions of both vehicles will be part of a demonstration programme which will run throughout 2016 and 2017, with series production due to start in 2017.
The new range of electric buses will be supported through Customcare. The vehicles are fitted with the latest on-board and live remote diagnostic battery measuring equipment, which provides real time data for the service support team even before they attend the vehicle.
Dr William Wright CBE, who heads up the alternative driveline division at Wrightbus, explains: “At Wrightbus we have committed ourselves to the design of cleaner, greener buses and have been at the forefront of electric bus technology for more than a decade now. Our team is highly knowledgeable with class-leading expertise in the techniques of electric vehicle development.
“Our philosophy is to provide a range of fully flexible products, particularly in relation to the charging methodology, while built on standard product platforms. This way, the customer can decide which type of technology and format best suits their requirements and those of the location in which they operate, rather than being dictated to by us, the manufacturer. Our team are able to advise and support them to create a bespoke offering which is specifically tailored to their individual requirements and operations.”
About The Wright Group
We are one of Europe’s leading designers and manufacturers of advanced public transport vehicles. For nearly 70 years we have earned a reputation for producing vehicles which excel in style, quality and reliability.
Our hallmark is innovation – we pioneered low floor accessible buses in the UK, we were the first to introduce lightweight aluminium bodywork, and we have led the way with hybrid-electric buses and alternative drivelines.
We offer a comprehensive and versatile range of vehicles, catering for every aspect of public and private transit operations. From small buses to big buses, single and double deckers, articulated and Bus Rapid Transit we have answers for every public transport challenge.
Our capabilities include design, development and world-class manufacturing. We can supply buses completely built in Northern Ireland or in kit form for assembly overseas.
We pride ourselves on commitment to our customers, service which exceeds expectations and integrity in everything we do.