New hybrid vehicles for local public transport and freight distribution

MAN Nutzfahrzeuge showcases third generation of hybrid city buses

(PresseBox) ( München, )
At its annual general meeting held in Munich today, MAN Nutzfahrzeuge is showcasing a new generation of hybrid-drive city buses. Back in 2001 and 2005, MAN had already presented hybrid models that in regular service on behalf of the Nuremberg transit authority had demonstrably achieved fuel savings of up to 25 percent. With their frequent stops, city buses are ideal for operating these diesel-electric systems.

Hybrid vehicles on regular public transport and freight distribution services have the potential of playing a major role in terms of both ecology and fuel efficiency. The main reason is the sharp CO2 emission reduction as a result of the appreciably lower fuel consumption typical of such drives. This is achieved, on the one hand, with the aid of the stop-start automatic system by which the engine is switched off at stops and when waiting at intersections or crossings, and on the other, with the recovery and storage of brake energy.

For years now, the MAN Nutzfahrzeuge Group has been engaged in the development of environment-friendly truck and bus propulsion systems. Back in the seventies and eighties, MAN and NEOPLAN had laid the groundwork for successful hybrid systems. In the medium-term, the Group identifies in particular bus-application potential for diesel-electric hybrid systems using new kinds of ultracapacitors. This is a technology already introduced in the city bus launched by MAN in 2001 and tested on regular service by the Nuremberg transit authority (VAG) in 2001/2002. This was followed in 2005 by a second-generation model featuring a number of improvements, again on regular service in Nuremberg. Even when compared with modern diesel-engine buses, fuel savings, depending on the nature of the operation, were up to 25 percent.

MAN’s new hybrid city bus making its debut

In addition to this, in 2005 MAN’s R&D unit launched a project sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Economics (BMWi) intended to further develop city buses with hybrid diesel drive. This is part of the research program looking into such subjects as mobility, traffic, and transport. By 2008, two test vehicles incorporating the new technology will be made available. Within the framework of this project, MAN is developing and testing two vehicle versions: one with maximized fuel efficiency and the other with maximized emission reduction. The first of these test vehicles is making its public debut in Munich on the occasion of MAN AG’s annual general meeting and, from May 21 to 24, at the UITP (Union Internationale des Transports Publics) congress in Helsinki. This is MAN Nutzfahrzeuge’s third generation of prototypes undergoing testing.

Growing market potential for hybrid city buses
The objective of NEOMAN Bus GmbH is, through further development work and additional refinements, to turn hybrid technology into a medium-term economically viable proposition for city buses. Both MAN Nutzfahrzeuge AG and NEOMAN Bus GmbH perceive hybrid technology as possessing maximum potential in city buses. This is why over the years ahead, heavy expenditure has been earmarked for developing this technology ready for serial production and timed to take off as from 2010. NEOMAN forecasts by 2015 a potential market share of ten to twenty percent for hybrid city buses.

Hybrid-drive freight distribution trucks being tested

For deploying hybrid drives in freight distribution trucks, MAN Nutzfahrzeuge is pursuing various directions to take into account typical application profiles. The key research aspects are brake energy storage and stop-start automatic system. Initial results indicate fuel savings of up to 10 percent, depending on operating conditions.

Two distribution trucks with parallel hybrid drive are being tested: one with a starter alternator (MAN TGL OPTISTRANG), the other, an MAN TGL, with an electro-dynamic moving-off element jointly developed with ZF Friedrichshafen. MAN’s aim is a lasting reduction in both consumption and emissions.

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