SWEDEN Hybricon of Umeå, Sweden has won the Future Transport Award in the Public Transport category at the Elmia Future Transport Fair. The award highlights good examples and role models who have developed effective, environmentally sound and economically viable solutions for passenger and freight transport.
One of Hybricon’s developments is the Arctic Whisper – a diesel hybrid urban bus capable of utilising grid electricity. It is cliamed to be the world’s first fast-charged hybrid bus. It combines the noemission benefits of an electric bus with the reliability of a diesel bus.
The bus utilises a charging station, known as the ‘b?sbaar’, at one end of an Umeå bus route. Upon completing the route, the driver of the vehicle pulls up underneath the b?sbaar, and tram-like pantographs on the roof of the bus rise to contact the charging point. Once the batteries are charged the driver is able to continue the route.
The station fast-charges the bus for several minutes at the end of every trip, meaning the all-electric range of the e-Traction hybrid bus can be increased to 18 hours. Since the Arctic Whisper is a serial hybrid bus with a backup diesel generator, the vehicle is able to continue running on diesel in the event of traffic congestion, exceptionally cold weather or brown-outs.
Batteries in the Arctic Whisper are fully charged at night, with the b?sbaar providing additional electricity so the bus can complete a full day of electric driving. The b?sbaar is provided by Opbrid SL.
The Arctic Whisper is the result of collaboration between Hybricon AB, Opbrid SL (Granada, Spain), e-Traction BV (Apeldoorn, Holland), Umeå Energi AB and the Umeå City Corporation.
The vehicle is currently undergoing testing in Umeå, and initial test results are reported to be very promising. These will be presented at the European Electric Vehicle Conference in Brussels on October 27. An initial revenueearning passenger service is due to start operating soon.