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Irish OEM unveils lithium-ion busses

Wed, 11/23/2016 - 15:39 -- Paul Crompton

Bus maker Wrightbus is to demo lithium-ion electric busses on the UK’s streets— less than two years after its fleet of Routemaster London busses suffered from battery failure.

Wrightbus is making the new StreetAir EV busses using batteries from French battery systems firm Forsee Power.

The 10.6 meter long single-decker busses will be powered by a 300kWh battery capable of driving up to 200 miles in a single charge. The busses will be demonstrated in London and Liverpool.

The last time Wrightbus was spoken about in the BEST office it was because more than half of the 500 Routemaster busses had major problems with their batteries.

Wrightbus refuses to reveal the name of the firm that supplied batteries for the Routemaster busses, although it was at pains to point out Forsee had nothing to do with the project.

Forsee Power has, however, been a battery supplier to Wrightbus since 2013 when it provided batteries for eight single deck induction power transfer busses.

“Our collaboration with this manufacturer encompasses the whole product range our company has developed for transport applications,” said Sébastien Rembauville-Nicolle, Forsee Power Transport & Storage Division Manager.

“Our products allow us to satisfy all of the requirements in the Wrightbus Specification, and our three product ranges Pulse, Flex, Zen are or will soon be one of the battery offerings on the Wrightbus product range.”

The Pulse range allows fast charging (3-5 mins at the station, 15-25 times per day); a 150kwh Flex battery system, a battery can clock up over 200 miles a day; the Zen range provides 300-500 kWh with less weight.

Back in March Forsee announced a new facility in Zhongshan, in the Chinese region of Canton, which bosted an assembly capacity of more than 100,000 scooter and 1,000 electric bus batteries.

The €1.5 million investment included plans to reach 300 MWh— the equivalent of 1,000 electric buses— by 2017.

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