Wrightbus leads electric charging research consortium

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A UK consortium led by Wrightbus and including Magtec, Chargemaster and Cambridge University is to research the development of a common platform to power ultra-low emission buses.

The three-year project will research, design and integrate pioneering charging concepts into electric buses. The project aims to produce a system suitable for powering a range of Ultra Low Emission buses – the integrated ‘power floor’ system will power pure electric or range extended electric vehicles.

Project partners have secured partial funding from a research and development competition managed by the government-backed Advanced Propulsion Centre. The objective of the partners is to demonstrate the opportunity for reducing bus emissions through the use of a common platform specifically developed so it may be integrated into a range of ULE vehicles.

Dr William Wright CBE, Co-Founder and Director of Wrights Group, said: “Wrightbus is a company where innovation and technology is at the core of everything we do, and we have led the way in the practical development of clean vehicle technology in buses over many years. This project brings an interesting new dimension to the development of ULE bus technology and seeks to find responsible solutions to the world’s environmental challenges.”

Professor John Miles, who leads the research team at Cambridge University, said: “The Modular Architecture development is the latest project in the University’s on-going association with Wrightbus. In this concept, we are planning to store the batteries to power the bus in a ‘power floor’, converting an area that is an integral part of public transport into a place where useful power cells can be placed.

“The challenges are huge, but the potential for air quality improvement is also huge.”

Marcus Jenkins, Managing Director at Magtec said: “This project collaboration combines industry leaders and innovators to create a robust, innovative and cost-effective ULE bus, powered by the most advanced propulsion technologies in order to reduce CO2 emissions in both hybrid and pure electric vehicles. We are extremely pleased to be able to play an active part in the project research, which will see the tangible demonstration of technologies on a modern ULE bus.”

Jeff Solomon, Group Technical Director at Chargemaster, stated: “With the combination of shared expertise and knowledge base, this research and development project will provide invaluable solutions to not just the modern ULE bus, but to the future of all powered vehicles.”