Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Paris using ultracapacitors in buses

Much has been made of the potential of ultracapacitors in electric cars. Many start-up companies are hoping to make the big breakthrough that changes the future of EVs by creating lighter, cheaper and better energy storage, but so far we haven't seen the results.

German company MAN has decided to look beyond small electric vehicles and has outfitted a hybrid bus with an ultracapacitor. Paris's public transport system RATP is currently testing a few of these models called Lion's City Hybrids in the city without passengers to see if they're worth permanently adding to their transportation fleet.

The bus is being tested on four different bus routes to gauge its performance under various demands like longer distances or more frequent stops. The ultracapacitor allows the bus to start without turning on the engine. Once the bus is moving, the diesel engine starts running.

MAN claims that the hybrid bus reduces fuel use by 20 to 25 percent compared to the currently-used models. If these test go well, this could be the beginning of ultracapacitors finally making their way onto the road instead of just being an exciting prospect.

via Autoblog Green

Paris Using Ultracapacitors in Buses

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