BAE Systems showcased its new and improved hybrid drive propulsion system at the APTA EXPO on Monday, Oct. 6. The "repackaged" Series system enables greater flexibility in installation, so that it can easily be adapted to multiple bus platforms. It can be installed either in a transverse configuration or in a line configuration giving OEMs flexibility and end users more product choices, according to Tom Webb, BAE's director of business development.
Additional features to the system include an integrated starter generator, which will enable the generator to start the vehicle. “This removes some components and some complexity in the standard propulsion package,” Webb said.
The enhanced system also introduces power electronics that will enable the electrification of vehicle accessories. "Transit buses consume a lot of power with the air conditioning, power steering, engine cooling and so forth," said Webb. "Those systems, which are largely driven by belts off the engine are noisy and add mechanical complexity." Driving these items electrically allows for a quieter more efficient vehicle, which uses less energey and reduces maintenance costs.
"It’s taking proven hybrid technology and moving it yet another step in the direction of total electrification of the vehicle," Webb said.
Increased fuel costs and concerns about the environment created a great opportunity for the company to invest in product improvements and take this product into new markets, he added.