In a pilot project, FlixBus is working with Trailar to reduce the environmental impact of its vehicles. Flexible solar mats which have been specially developed for use in the transport sector and have already been installed to over 1,000 commercial vehicles by Trailar, have been installed on one of FlixBus’ international coaches.
The solar mats installed on the roof of the coach are ultra-thin and lightweight to prevent air resistance. By means of a Trailar Smart Charge Controller, the solar mats on the roof interface with the coach alternator to charge the batteries. During the trial period, it is claimed that an average of 1.7 litres of diesel was saved per 100km. The coach is used on a twice-weekly service between Dortmund and London, covering an average distance of 600 kilometres per day, which equates to a daily fuel saving of around 10 litres. The solar panels are expected to produce more energy during the spring and summer months.
Trailar, subcontractors Kupers Touringcars, and FlixBus will continue to evaluate the results of the project, and factors such as the route of the bus and the season can influence the performance of the technology. From April, the bus will run more frequently, operating up to daily during the holiday periods.
“We strive to travel as climate-neutral as possible and make climate-friendly travel accessible to as many people as possible,” said Jesper Vis, Managing Director of FlixBus Benelux. “This pilot project with solar panels is just one in a series of initiatives and climate-friendly projects for our travellers. Based on the initial results, we will evaluate the extent to which we extend this pilot to more buses or even all buses in the network.”