HANNOVER, 14.04.2015. Üstra Hannoversche Verkehrsbetriebe AG, also known as “üstra,” has an even more environmentally-friendly fleet. With seven new buses, the company now operates 27 three-axle Solaris Urbino 18 city buses with Allison hybrid systems. The vehicles were purchased to replace older diesel models.
“This brings us a major step closer to our target of also offering climate-friendly and low-carbon mobility with buses,” said Wilhelm Lindenberg, managing board member for operations and human resources at üstra.
At the end of January, the new H18-generation Solaris articulated buses with Euro 6 engines and Allison H 50 EP™ hybrid systems were presented on the Opernplatz in Hannover. Since then, the seven hybrid buses have been servicing city lines 120, 121, 123 and 124. These routes are characterized by short distances between stops (approx. 500 meters) and an average speed of 18 kph to 22 kph, circumstances where the benefits of hybrid buses are most significant.
“In city traffic, the buses achieve fuel savings of up to 30 percent. Therefore they produce almost a third fewer carbon dioxide emissions than comparable diesel vehicles,” said Hubert Nawa, manager of fleet management for the city bus division at üstra. “In particular, I would like to stress the significantly lower noise pollution for the residents.”
The Allison H 50 EP system features a unique two-mode, parallel hybrid architecture which blends torque delivered by two electric 75 kW (100 hp) motor-generators with torque generated by a 204 kW (278 hp) Cummins ISB6.7 E6 280B diesel engine. The electric motors contribute substantially to bus launch, relying less on the diesel engine to produce power and torque.
“The Allison-equipped buses provide smooth operation and jerk-free acceleration – this makes the ride for drivers and passengers particularly comfortable,” said Nawa. Üstra first tested an 18-meter Solaris Urbino articulated bus with Allison’s H 50 EP hybrid system in 2008. After successful operation, an additional 10 buses were added in September 2011. Nine more Allison-equipped hybrid buses followed in October 2013.
These 20 Solaris Urbino buses have covered over three million kilometers and transported approximately 19,000 passengers per day.“There have not been any noteworthy problems with the hybrid drive,” Nawa said. “We have had very good experiences with the Allison-equipped Urbino buses and appreciate the high vehicle availability.”
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